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Shortsea Shipping: Short and Sharp in Belgium

Date: 17/03/2017

Belgian seaports jointly handled a record 149.3 Mt of shortsea cargo in 2016, a 3% rise year-on year

The figures include both intra-European door-door transport and maritime deepsea feeder containers, with no breakdown given.

Shortsea represented 52% of all maritime shipments in Belgian seaports.

Notably, all Belgian seaports in 2016 recorded an increase in shortsea volume, including Brussels which is connected with Antwerp through the Brussels-Scheldt Canal.

The country’s capital city port handled 1.1 Mt, + 7.4% year-on-year.

The record figure of almost 150 Mt constitutes a 68.6% growth since 1999, which clearly underscores how firmly shortsea shipping is rooted in the European transport chain, said Willy De Decker of the Shortsea Promotion Centre Belgium in Antwerp.

Imports accounted for 56.4% and exports for 43.6%. Zeebrugge is the only port where exports outweighed imports.

Antwerp leads the tables with 99.1 Mt of shortsea cargo (deepsea feeders included) handled (+0.3%). Zeebrugge booked a 5.2% growth to a total 30.2 Mt. Ghent chalked a 14.9% increase to 18.5 Mt, while Ostend rose by 13% to a total 1.44 Mt. The smallest of them all, Ostend lead the tables in terms of shortsea/deepsea ratio (98.4 against 0.6%).

The shortsea share in the bigger seaports in 2016 was: Antwerp 46.3%, Ghent 63.7% and Zeebrugge 79.8%.

The breakdown in cargo commodity segments for the four true seaports (Brussels excluded), with the 2015 performance between brackets, was: lo-lo containers 38.8% (39.9%), liquid bulk 32% (31.5%), dry bulk 13.0% (no change), ro-ro 11.5% (11.2%) and breakbulk 4.7% (4.4%).

Source: World Cargo News - 23/02/2017         

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