Container throughput increased by 6.4% in the first nine months of this year at the Port of Antwerp, with the Belgian hub handling 8.87m teu.
Growth mainly came from transhipment volumes, while imports and exports were also on the rise. All trading regions apart from Latin America recorded positive growth.
The recent adjustments to the MSC feeder network, a network of smaller ships that take on freight from larger units in the port for onward transport, were favourable for Antwerp.
As of the third quarter, for instance, two new services to Latin America provided additional imports of reefer loads from Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia and Costa Rica.
Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeirend said: “The uncertainty in world trade has not yet had any impact on our container volume.
“In fact it is continuing to expand, thus further consolidating our world leadership position. As a consequence we are continuing to develop additional freight transport to the hinterland by rail and barge.”
The slowdown in the world economy reduced the growth rate of more volatile trade flows such as conventional breakbulk, liquid bulk and vehicles, noted the port authority.
On the other hand the volume of dry bulk such as scrap metal, minerals and coal soared by 9.5%.
Total roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) volume contracted by 2.1%, while the number of new cars handled was down by 10%, partly due to the declining volume of new car exports in the third quarter.
Port alderman Annick De Ridder noted that the port’s carbon emission per shipped container is decreasing because of the mega-ships that are calling the port.