The increase is mainly due to container freight, which, once more, passed the 100m tonne mark setting a new record at 102.7m tonnes, an increase of 17.8%. Translated into teu, the figure was up by 16.1% to 8.4m teu.
Although Ro/ro traffic also increased by 14.8% to 3.6m tonnes, in comparison with 2008 its throughput was down by 16.9%, with imports of new cars struggling to get back to 2008 levels.
In other commodities, conventional/breakbulk experienced the greatest difficulty in recovering from the recession, increasing 6.3% to 11.1m tonnes, some 34.4% down on the 2008 level. Steel products, wood cellulose, paper and fruit all suffered heavily in 2009.
Despite this, the port authority claims that Antwerp remains the leading breakbulk port in Europe, although this position has been coming under increasing pressure lately.
Bulk freight recorded an overall increase of 7% rise on 2009, with both liquid bulk (up 4.8%) and dry bulk (up 12.0%) recording growth figures. Crude oil (up 20.67%) and chemicals (up 18 %) were the top performers in this segment.
The number of seagoing ships calling at Antwerp also rose during 2010 to 14,750, an increase of 6%.
Final figures will be announced by the Port in the second half of this month (January).