Belgium: Port of Antwerp Ready for Largest Vessels

The port of Antwerp handled a freight volume of 143,015,226 tonnes in the first nine months of this year, 3.0% more than in the same period last year. Liquid bulk once again produced good growth figures, helping to push the overall volume higher.

Antwerp once more demonstrated that it has all the capabilities needed to handle even the very largest ships without problem when the 18,000 TEU Mary Maersk berthed here on Saturday 19 October. This vessel, in the class of the largest container carriers in the world, entered the port of Antwerp smoothly without problem on its trial visit.

Simulations by the Hydrological Laboratory in Borgerhout had previously demonstrated that such ships are able to call at Antwerp, and the arrival of the Mary Maersk proved this irrefutably.

In the meantime the alliance of the three largest container shipping companies in the world, the P3 Network (Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM), has opted favourably for Antwerp. The port has gained a call from the Far East, while the number of calls on the trans-Atlantic route is being maintained. This definite choice in favour of Antwerp is a clear expression of confidence in the advantages offered by the port, and will result in even more calls by vessels of 13,000 TEU and over.

Added value and employment

A report by the National Bank of Belgium on the economic significance of the Belgian ports once more confirms that the development of the port of Antwerp is of crucial importance for the Flemish economy. In 2012 the port generated direct added value of 9.76 billion euros, an increase of 1.1% compared with the previous year. The amount of direct employment also expanded, with 60,815 people directly employed compared with 60,010 the previous year, an increase of 1.3%.

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Press Release, October 25, 2013


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