The port of Antwerp handled 190,849,079 tonnes of freight last year, an increase of 3.6% compared with 2012. The final figure is slightly higher than the already record volume expected at the end of 2013. The main driving force behind the growth was liquid bulk, with the container volume being slightly down as a result of the continuing The current year has got off to a good start with the arrival of the 14,074 TEU CLSL Jupiter. After MSC, Maersk Line and Cosco, China Shipping is the fourth shipping company to send such Ultra-Large Container Ships to Antwerp.
The volume of liquid bulk rose over the past 12 months by 31.4% to 59,493,776 tonnes. Imports and exports of oil derivatives were well up, by 34.8%, ending at 43,129,916 tonnes. The amount of chemicals and crude oil handled also rose sharply. The volume of crude oil expanded by a massive 83.4% to 4,680,763 tonnes, while chemicals for their part were up by 9.7%, finishing at 11,203,776 tonnes by the end of 2013.
The volume of dry bulk on the other hand fell by 24.8% to 14,376,834 tonnes, mainly due to a reduction in coal volumes (down 62% to 2,178,213 tonnes).
The container volume showed a small contraction, both in tonnes and in the number of containers. In terms of twenty-foot equivalent units the number of containers handled was down slightly (by 0.7%) to 8,578,269 TEU. In terms of tonnage the drop was 1.7%, with the total volume coming to 102.3 million tonnes for the 12 month period.
The ro/ro volume for its part declined by 4.9% to 4,562,397 tonnes, although the number of cars actually rose by 4.8% to 1,299,961. Conventional breakbulk also contracted during the course of the year, by 7.4%, with the final figure being 10,090,138 tonnes.