Container volumes maintained their strong growth. In tonnage terms, the volume of containers handled at Antwerp rose by 12% to 52,196,557 tonnes in January–June 2008. In teu terms, this represented an increase of 10.4%, to 4,434,400 teu. The volume handled by the Deurganck dock rose spectacularly by 39% compared with last year. The new dock has clearly provided a tremendous boost for Antwerp, while industrial action at the Port of Le Havre has also resulted in trade being diverted to Antwerp.
The amount of bulk freight passing through the Port rose by 9.2% for the period, largely due to an increase in dry bulk volumes, which were up by 18%. Liquid bulk was also up by 3.6%. There was sharp growth in the amount of crude oil (up 34%), ore (up 27.8%) and coal (up 22.8%). Chemicals experienced further solid growth of 8.1%.
The volume of conventional/breakbulk cargo fell sharply, however, with 13% less being handled over the period; steel in particular was down by 13.7%. Ro/ro freight volumes increased by 3.8%. The number of seagoing ships calling at the Port rose by 2.6% to 8,381, while the gross register tonnage was up by 4.1% to 146,717,531 GRT.