Cargo throughput in Port of Antwerp-Bruges down by 5.5 per cent

Cargo throughput at the port of Antwerp-Bruges, the merged ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge, fell by 5.5 per cent last year, the port authority said on Wednesday. Geopolitical tensions and a global slowdown in economic growth are the main reasons for the decline.

The port's total throughput of 271 million tonnes in 2023 was 5.5 per cent lower than the previous year. But the port's market share in the container segment is still growing compared to ports in the Hamburg-Le Havre range - the seaports in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and northern France.

In 2023, container throughput fell by 6.3 per cent to 137.2 million tonnes. "In particular, the lower global demand for commodities is weighing on the figures," the port said. "All other segments, including liquid and dry bulk, breakbulk and roll-on-roll-off traffic (such as cars), also recorded declines."

'A year full of challenges'

The port calls 2023 "a year full of challenges", referring to the recent attacks on cargo ships in the Red Sea, the slowing economy in the eurozone and the war between Israel and Hamas.

"One could conclude from this that it was a bad year," said CEO Jacques Vandermeiren. "I would like to nuance that immediately. The other ports that will soon publish their figures are worse off than we are. It shows that the port of Antwerp-Bruges is holding its own in difficult times thanks to the reliability and efficiency of our nautical chain."


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS

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