Record after seven years, the port of Antwerp in 2009, a traffic decrease of 16.7 percent. The expected outcome varies around 158 million tons of processed products. 2009 also brought good things. Thus, the new system up and sailing on the Scheldt the largest container ships float to Antwerp. That was the Port Authority (GHA) today. Despite the traffic loss can Antwerp’s position as second European port confirmation.
With just over 100 million tons of general cargo handling had a fall of about 18 percent from 2008. Within this segment was mainly the conventional cargo with 10.3 million tonnes responsible for a sharp drop of 39.4 percent. That made sense also in the employment figures: the unemployment rate for the port workers was the highest since 15 years.
The container traffic is estimated at 87 million tons (-14.1 percent). In this segment, there was a remarkable shift, taking bets on fewer companies and especially larger vessels. The widening of the channel of the Westerschelde, the position of Antwerp in the coming years reinforcing. Port Ships Marc Van Peel (CD & V) expects that work could start in January-February.
Bulk clocked off at 57.3 million (-14 percent). Especially the decline of coal (-36 percent) and minerals (-65 percent) was significant and mainly due to the crisis in the steel industry. The liquid bulk (0.9 percent) and more specifically the petrochemical sector remained stable. (belga / LPB)