In the first six months of this year, the port's total cargo volume was 139 million tonnes, down 5.5% compared to the same period last year. The global economic situation has led to a decrease in demand for container transport, while other cargo flows show a mixed picture.
Despite the weak economic conditions, traditional bulk cargoes, including steel, are doing quite well, the port said. Throughput is in line with the pre-Covid-19 period, but down 17.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2022. The port emphasises that last year saw exceptionally high throughput rates due to the strong post-Covid-19 recovery.
This year, the slowing economy is accompanied by a decrease in demand for steel, the most important cargo group in the traditional bulk segment. Steel production, both imports and exports, decreased by 18% in total to 3.93 million tonnes. Of this amount, 2.39 million tonnes were inbound shipments and 1.54 million tonnes were exports.
Last year, the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge merged into a single company. However, steel transshipment in the port of Zeebrugge is almost non-existent. All steel traffic takes place in Antwerp.
In the current unstable economic conditions, the port says it is gaining market share in container transport compared to other ports on the Hamburg - Le Havre route.