The Antwerp-Bruges port complex, the second largest in the EU, reduced cargo turnover by 5.5% to 271 million tons at the end of 2023. All major groups in the turnover structure decreased, with the exception of passenger cars.
The container traffic, which constitutes half of the port’s turnover, decreased by 6% in tons and 7% in TEUs. Overall, the five container terminals at the Port of Antwerp and one at the Port of Bruges processed a total of 12.5 million TEUs at year-end. The decline amounted to approximately 5.5% in the first half of the year and accelerated to over 9% in the second half of the year on a year-to-year basis.
The tension in the Red Sea may lead to an increase in the rates for sea freight transportation from Asia to Europe by 60%, with insurance going up by 20%, the Antwerp Port Authority reported. The increase in the freight rates is likely to be a factor in further reduction of sea cargo traffic from Asia to the European ports.