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Port of Antwerp-Bruges: slight growth in the first half of the year

Port of Antwerp Bruges’ total throughput was 147.2 million tons in the first six month of 2022. This is an increase of 1.3% compared to the same period last years. This slight increase, despite the decline in container segment traffic due to global congestion issues, is a confirmation of its stronger position as a unified port.

The Container throughput was down 9.8% by tonnes and 6.3% by TEU, compared to a strong first half of 2021. The container trade is still facing operational challenges due to disruptions in container liner shipping and vessel delays. Due to the conflict in Ukraine, the container throughput to Russia fell by 39%.

The throughput volume for general cargo increased by 21.8% during the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2021. This was due to an increase in steel imports which is the largest cargo group in this sector. Imports from other countries are replacing steel from Russia, which was banned under sanctions. Other product categories, including wood, plywood, and fruit, are also experiencing growth.

Roll on/roll offtraffic saw a 9% increase. RoRo traffic from the United Kingdom and Ireland saw significant growth with 3.8million tonnes and 0.6million tonnes, respectively, an increase of 6.8% and 47%, respectively, compared to the first six months in 2021. While the number of new and used vehicles increased by 2.5% and 1.7% respectively, the number of trucks fell by 19%.


The dry bulk segment grew 17.9%. After a strong 2021, fertilizers experienced a drop in throughput (-15.4%), due to sanctions imposed by Russia. After 6 months, the throughput of non-ferrous metals, sand, and gravel also suffered losses. Although only 933,000 tonnes were processed in 2021, the throughput of sand, gravel, non-ferrous ores and scrap metal after six months is already 1.56million tonnes. This is due to the sharp rise in gas prices as well as reduced Russian gas supplies.

The liquid bulk segment (+6.3%) has seen a significant increase in gasoline, naphtha, and other energy gases. While the throughput for diesel and fuel oil has been declining steadily since 2019, it increased by 6.8% during the first six months of 2019. The throughput of other oil derivatives, chemicals and chemicals also increased by 9.4% and 9.8%, respectively. With 8.4 million tonnes of throughput, LNG (+55.3%), was the most significant growth. This is because in addition to transshipment, European countries are also busy replenishing their gas stocks ahead of next winter.

Zeebrugge hosted 53 cruise ship in the first half 2022. April and May were the most popular months, with 15 ships each. The current average passenger capacity is 65%, and this is on the rise. By mid-2022, the global cruise fleet will be back fully operational.


Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp Bruges, stated: “Given our current geopolitical context, this slight increase is definitely a relief. These numbers confirm our strength as a united port. This context continues to present significant challenges, particularly in the container segment. We can now offer two platforms that complement each other as a single port. This will significantly strengthen our position as an international gateway to Europe and in the international logistics chain.

Annick De Ridder is vice mayor of Antwerp, and president of the Board of Directors of Port of Antwerp Bruges. He stated: “These figures confirm one more time that additional container capacity as well as investments in strategic infrastructure are essential to ensure our position of a global port.” We are better positioned to compete internationally and sustainably grow our port as the engine for the Flemish economy.

Dirk De fauw was the mayor of the City of Bruges. He is also vice president of Port of Antwerp Bruges. The New Lock Zeebrugge will also consolidate our position in the world as a port. This important project, which combines economic and mobility interests with the ability to provide for the local population, has taken a significant step.

Port of Antwerp-Bruges

Port of Antwerp Bruges, with its annual throughput of 289 millions tons, is a vital hub for global trade and industry. It is an important link in the transportation of containers and breakbulk, as well as for vehicle throughput. It is Europe’s number one export port, with 147 millions tons per year. Port of Antwerp Bruges houses 1,400 companies. It also hosts the largest integrated chemical cluster Europe. Directly and indirectly, the port creates around 164,000 jobs and adds value to EUR21 billion.

Port of Antwerp Bruges has a clear goal: to be the first port in the world that reconciles climate, economy, and people. The Port aims to grow in a sustainable manner, but also to be a centre of logistics, maritime, and industrial activity, and to lead the transition to a circular, low-carbon economy. Port of Antwerp Bruges, together with its customers, partners and community, is actively looking for innovative solutions to ensure a sustainable future. Its responsibility for the environment, and surrounding society is a key part of its agenda.

Antwerp-Bruges port Authority manages the Antwerp-Brugge ports. It is a limited liability company of law, with Zeebrugge and the City of Antwerp as its shareholders. The port employs approximately 1,800 people. The Vice-Mayor of Antwerp Annick De rigder is President of Board of Directors. Dirk De fauw, Mayor of Bruges, is Vice-President. Jacques Vandermeiren, the CEO and President of Executive Committee, is responsible for port’s day to day management.

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