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A new shortsea traffic record in the first half of 2015

Date: 12/10/2015

In the first half of 2015 the tonnage of shortsea cargo (import and export combined) handled in our 4 Flemish ports has shown a growth of almost 2 million tonnes (+2.8%) compared to the same period last year.

Some remarkable findings:

•             With almost 73.2 million tonnes the shortsea traffic reaches in the first half op 2015 its highest level since 1999;

•             The share of shortsea in the global traffic in the Flemish ports amounts to 52.9%, which points at a strong anchoring in the European transport chains.

In absolute numbers a total of 73,175,310 tonnes of handled shortsea traffic was recorded by the end of June for the four ports taken together (export and import).

-              With 50,471,079 tonnes Antwerp proved to be the main growth engine. The growth vis-à-vis the first six months of 2014 equalled 4.1 million tonnes or almost 9%;

-              The port of Ghent witnessed a drop of 0.6 million tonnes to 8,103,065 tonnes compared to January-June 2014;

-              With 14,009,576 tonnes Zeebrugge handled 1.3 million tonnes less than in the first half of 2014;

-              The port of Ostend continued to drop back to a shortsea traffic of 591,590 tonnes, losing 0.17 million tonnes compared to the same period last year.

The share of shortsea in the total cargo handled obviously depends on the location of the port. Ostend scores almost 100%. Antwerp, which is situated further inland, receives 48.29% of shortsea freight. Ghent and Zeebrugge obtain 59,16% and 72.10 % respectively. Shortsea remains a very important activity for the four Flemish ports, as is shown by the share of almost 53% of the total maritime tonnage handled.

In the first half of 2015 SSS did less well on the inland waterways (sea-river) with a decrease of 57,767 tonnes in total, compared to the same period of last year. The Brussels-Scheldt maritime canal registered 542,387 tonnes (-36,558 tonnes). On the Albert Canal 112,608 tonnes were recorded, a drop of 21,209 tonnes. Nonetheless, sea-river vessels have a distinct advantage: they carry the cargo far inland, often to a loading or unloading facility in the vicinity of the customer.

Click here for the overview. 

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