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  • Port of Antwerp container throughput up by 0.6% to 2.3% TEUs in Q1 2021
  • 2021 April 23 15:51

    Port of Antwerp container throughput up by 0.6% to 2.3% TEUs in Q1 2021

    The total throughput of Port of Antwerp remained stable at 59,1 million metric tonnes compared with the same period last year, according to the company's release. Despite the impact of the ongoing coronavirus crisis and Brexit, all goods flows except liquid bulk recorded growth. For the coming period, it remains to be seen what the impact will be of the incident in the Suez Canal. Port of Antwerp anticipates busy terminals where possible.

    Container throughput grew by 0.6% (metric tonnes) and 2.3% (TEUs) in Q1 2021 compared with Q1 2020, which started strongly and then saw a downturn due to the initial effects of the pandemic in March 2020. January 2021 saw a continuation of the strong performance seen in autumn 2020, although a number of operational challenges hampered the operation of the container terminals. For example, there were long delays in arrivals of container ships as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The severe cold snap in February had an additional negative impact on container handling and the effects of this continued into March. The Suez Canal incident will cause further delays to container ship calls and operational challenges throughout Q2.

    The breakbulk segment had its best quarter since Q2 2019. The throughput of iron and steel, the most important goods group in this segment, increased by 18.2% due to a peak in the supply of steel, which can be explained amongst others by the new import quotas that took effect on 1 April. The RoRo throughput remained stable compared to Q1 2020, both in new and used vehicles.

    Dry bulk throughput increased by 6.7%. Apart from growth in the throughput of non-ferrous ores and scrap, this growth was found mainly in the throughput of fertilizers (+40.7%). The throughput of fertilizers within a single quarter is unprecedented in the last decade. Liquid bulk recorded a drop of 5%, mainly due to a sharp decline in the throughput of crude oil. Derivatives saw a slight decrease (-1%) compared with Q1 2020, while chemicals saw a modest increase of 4.4%.

    As a result of the incident in the Suez Canal, Port of Antwerp expects higher levels of traffic in the terminals in the coming weeks.




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