The Port of Antwerp announced today that it is expected to have handled a total freight volume of 190.6 million tons over the year — an increase of 3.5 percent compared to last year, when the volume came to 184.1 million tons — making 2013 a new record year for Antwerp.
The driving force behind the growth in volume was liquid bulk, with the container volume being slightly down as a result of the continuing recession. The previous record occurred in 2008, the last year before the global financial crisis.
“Liquid bulk has given our port a particularly strong boost,” the port's chief executive officer, Eddy Bruyninckx, said in a statement. “These freight volume results have been achieved thanks to investments by a number of large players over the past few years. They are also the best proof that conversion of former breakbulk areas into tank storage facilities has paid off for our port.”
The volume of liquid bulk rose over the past 12 months by 31.9 percent to 59,709,998 tons. The volume of dry bulk fell by 26.8 percent to 13,984,279 tons. The Port stated this contraction was due mainly to the failure to build a coal-fired power station, as trade has shifted to other ports that do have one or more coal-fired power stations.