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Containers lead Antwerp volume growth

Containers lead Antwerp volume growth
The Port of Antwerp has reported a 5.9% increase in freight volumes to 51m tonnes in the first quarter 2015, compared with the same period last year.

Container traffic led growth with a 9.5% rise in teu terms to 2.3m teu, which represents an 8.5% increase to 28m tonnes.

The growth story wasn't consisent across dry sectors, as ro-ro volumes dropped 8.7% to 1m tonnes and conventional freight fell 3.5% to 2.3m tonnes. The port noted a steep decline in fruit volumes, which contracted by 37.7% to 173,321 tonnes.

Dry bulk volumes grew 3.6% to 3.6m tonnes, led by a 63.3% increase in sand and gravel to 541,293 tonnes. More coal also came through the port, a total of 373,829 tonnes representing a 24.6% increase.

A 3% drop in chemicals and 7% drop in crude oil were outweighed by an 8% increase in petroleum derivatives, leading to an increase overall 4.7% rise in liquid cargoes to 15.8m tonnes.

The port's figures continue to show an increase in the average size of vessels calling, as total gross tonnage calling at the port grew by 4.2% to 83m GT, despite a 1% drop in vessel numbers to 3,408.