Port of Antwerp-Bruges handled 6.4 million TEUs in the first half of the year, translating to a 5.2% decrease from the same period last year. At the same time, the Belgian port reported a year-on-year container decline of 5.9% in terms of tons.
The port saw a 5.8% TEU decline year-on-year in the first quarter and a 4.6% fall in the second one.
However, the reefer sector achieved a noteworthy increase in the first six months of 2023 with the Port of Antwerp-Bruges reporting a 10.6% growth compared with the same period last year.
Furthermore, the total throughput of the major European port for the first half of the year was 139 million tonnes, representing a drop of 5.5% compared to the same months in 2022.
Additionally, roll-on/roll-off traffic remained at the same level at the Belgian port, which, however, reported that 1.8 million new cars shipped in and out, up 15% from 2022.
Moreover, in the first half of the year, 10,188 ocean-going vessels called the port, down by 2.8% year-on-year. The gross tonnage of these vessels fell by 4.7%.
"In the current unstable economic conditions, the port is holding up well and is also gaining market share in container handling compared to the other ports in the Hamburg – Le Havre range," pointed out a Port of Antwerp-Bruges representative.
Annick De Ridder, vice-mayor of the City of Antwerp and President of the board of directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, commented, "The calls of the record ships show that we can receive the largest container ships and handle them thanks to our investments in high-performance infrastructure at the terminals."
She added, "With record ships comes sufficient container capacity. Sustainable growth and Extra Container Capacity Antwerp, therefore, remain priorities to ensure our position as a world port and live up to our role as the economic engine of Flanders."