Antwerp-Bruges port sees slowdown in cargo throughput as demand falls
Total cargo throughput at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges during the first six months of this year amounted to 139 million tonnes. That’s a decrease of 5.5 per cent compared to the same period last year, the port authority reported on Tuesday.
“The global economic situation is causing a drop in demand for container transport,” the port said in a press release. Nevertheless, it sees positive signs: “Given the current conditions of changing flows of goods, we are holding up well. Our market share for container handling is rising compared to ports such as Hamburg or Le Havre, for example.”
That’s likely due to the fact that congestion at the container terminals, which has been causing problems for several years, has finally been resolved. As a result, cargo that was previously diverted to other European ports is returning.
"Given the current conditions of changing flows of goods, we are holding up well"
“This is an affirmation of our resilience and strength as a merged port,” said CEO Jacques Vandermeiren. “What the second half of the year will bring depends on many uncertain factors, including energy prices, which have a major impact on the chemical sector and that makes itself felt in lower output.”
Despite the positive note, the port also sees an overall slowdown in demand for container transport. Globally, demand fell by 9 per cent in the first quarter. Antwerp-Bruges saw a loss in container throughput of 5.9 per cent in tonnes compared to the first six months of 2022.
However, last year’s figures were particularly high because of the post-pandemic recovery, the port authority notes.
© BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS