The total freight volume handled by Port of Antwerp rose by 0.4% overall during the first four months of this year, conventional breakbulk and ro/ro remain under pressure.

With steel as the most important product, the consequences of the worldwide disruptions in trade have made themselves felt since 2019 and the shutdown of some industries due to the corona crisis has led to a sharp drop of 15.7% in April and 29.1% in 2020 overall.

Due to the lack of production in the automotive industry there were no imports of new cars from Asia, and exports of European cars were similarly at a standstill. The second-hand car market was also almost completely absent as a result of the corona crisis. As a consequence, the total ro/ro volume was down by 16.2% in the period January-April compared with the same period last year.

On the Up Side

Despite the impact of corona on global production and supply chains and a fall in demand as a result of the corona crisis, the port experienced slight growth in the total freight volume during the period January-April 2020 compared with the same period last year. The container volume in April was down compared with April 2019 but experienced growth of 6.1% in TEU during 2020 overall. The consequences of cancelled sailings will make themselves felt in the remainder of the second quarter. On the other hand there was a strong increase in empty boxes bound for China, which is a sign of recovery in production there.

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