Another record year for Port of Antwerp


The port has recorded a growth in every kind of cargo it handles and has welcomed investment from a number of leading companies in the chemical sector, as it marks the sixth consecutive year of increased freight

Extra capacity needed

The Port of Antwerp is marking a record year for the sixth year in a row, as it announced a growth in all types of cargo.

The expected total freight volume handled by the port in 2018 comes to 235 million tonnes, up by 5.1% on 2017. During 2018, leading international players in the chemical industry brought a wave of investment to the port, amounting to more than €2 billion.

The record year and the investments confirm earlier forecasts that the port will soon reach its maximum container capacity, meaning additional container handling capacity is needed.

“With these excellent growth figures and the recent surge of investment, in 2018 the port has once more confirmed its role as the main engine of the Belgian economy,” said Port Authority CEO Jacques Vandermeiren. “Now we will continue on the same course as before, towards a sustainable port of the future. But to keep growing in a sustainable way, we together with the whole port community must strain every effort to meet the challenges facing us today. The port of the future must have enough capacity and be accessible, sustainable, smart and secure to remain attractive for investors.”

Container freight reached 130 million tonnes (up 5.8%) or 11 million TEU (up 5.5%) in 2018. Liquid and solid bulk are up by 4.5% (to 76.5 million tonnes) and 5% (to 12.8 million tonnes) respectively, while breakbulk is up by 1.8% (to 15.6 million tonnes).

“We are already far beyond the optimum capacity limits in the terminals below the locks, with serious consequences for efficiency. We therefore continue to insist that additional container capacity below the locks is urgently needed,” said Vandermeiren. “The Port of Antwerp is doing very well, which is good news for the economy. But it is also very important to keep up this impetus and to build the necessary capacity as soon as possible."

Port of Antwerp

The port of Antwerp is Europe’s second-largest port and one of the world’s most important ports for container traffic.
Going green - The port’s first-ever sustainability report won it the Award for Best Belgian Sustainability Report.
Size - The port takes up more space than the actual city of Antwerp.
Roots - Historians have found evidence for the port’s existence dating back to the 12th century.

barges entering the port daily


companies in the greater port area


tonnes of freight handled in 2012