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4.3% growth: Belgium Port of Antwerp handles 199 million tonnes of freight in 2014

4.3% growth: Belgium Port of Antwerp handles 199 million tonnes of freight in 2014

BRUSSELS: The Port of Antwerp handled 199m tonnes of freight in 2014, a 4.3% increase over 2013.

The increase was driven by a 5.9% growth in container volumes and a 5.6% improvement in liquid bulk, despite a 2.0% decrease in conventional breakbulk and 6.1% decrease in dry bulk.

The 5.9% increase in containers to 108.3m tonnes amounted to a 4.7% increase in teu, to 8.9m teu handled throughout the year.

In total, liquid bulk rose last year by 5.6% to 62.8m tonnes, within which petroleum derivatives increased by 6.8% to 46m tonnes, crude oil increased 6.5% to 4.9m tonnes and chemicals increased 1.5% to 11m tonnes.

Meanwhile dry bulk handling fell by 6.1% at the port, to 13.5m tonnes, with coal in particular down 34.9% to 1.4m tonnes. Ro-ro decreased 2.0% to 4.4m tonnes, and the number of cars fell by 8.1% to 1m units. Conventional breakbulk, too, was down by 2.0%, to 9.8m tonnes.

Antwerp reports that 1.5% fewer ships called in 2014 than in the year previous, a total of 14,009, although gross tonnage increased 1.7% to 335 gt. The number of Ultra-Large Container Vessels (ULCVs) calling at the port increased by 68 year-on-year to 266. In particular, 82 more vessels of 13,000 teu or over called at the port.