The Port of Antwerp has reported a 4.9% drop in the total throughput of goods for the first half of 2020 compared to last year as a result of the coronavirus crisis – but added that it is ‘also seeing the first signs of recovery’.
In a statement issued today (8 July), the port authority said: ‘After a strong first quarter, the port experienced a decline in the transhipment of all flows of goods, with the exception of the container sector. Despite the impact of the coronavirus crisis on global production and logistics chains and a pandemic-driven drop in demand, the port remained 100% operational.’
Over the past six months, 6,797 seagoing vessels called at Antwerp – which 5.6% down on last year. The gross tonnage of these vessels fell by 7.9% to 193 million.
Looking ahead to the third quarter, the Port of Antwerp said it is ‘still expecting blank sailings’, but it is ‘also seeing the first signs of recovery and an upturn in the European economy’.
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp, commented: ‘Port of Antwerp is a world port that follows the pace of the European and world economy. The impact of the shutdown of the global supply chain due to the coronavirus crisis has been felt from the second quarter onwards and will affect the total throughput of goods this year. The Port of Antwerp is holding up well in the Hamburg-Le Havre range because it is active in many sectors, it is not dependent on a single continent and because of its role as Europe's largest integrated chemical cluster.’
Annick De Ridder, Port Alderman, added: ‘As the port of Antwerp, we are an important link in the chain between producers and consumers, and as such a perfect barometer for the global economy. Much will depend on how quickly industry is able to start up again and consumer confidence to return. As Antwerp port community, we remained 100% operational during this global crisis and our knowledge and experience are well documented as a valued trademark all over the world.’