The port of Antwerp experienced an excellent first quarter with a freight volume of 58,328,678 tonnes, an increase of 7.1% on the same period last year. The total volume is a result of all freight categories with the exception of conventional breakbulk. The main driver, however, is once again container freight which enjoyed very strong growth of 9.5% compared with the first three months of 2017.
The container volume rose by 9.5% to 32,580,600 tonnes, or 2,744,226 TEU (up 10.7%). In fact the month of March alone set a new record for container volume with 980,000 TEU.
There was growth on all sailing routes, both for imports and for exports. The progress made by European container freight was the most notable, expanding by 14.5%. This is thanks partly to the recovery in transhipment consignments which dipped temporarily last year because of a shortage of dock labour. Container trade with North America for its part was up by 14.7% compared with the same period last year, although the first quarter of 2017 in this sector was rather weak. On Asian routes there was growth of 7%.
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