Good results for the Port of Zeebrugge in first semester despite COVID-19 crisis

  • Port of Zeebrugge

In the first semester of 2020, the total traffic in Zeebrugge grows with 14.5% compared to the same period last year. In total, 25.1 million tonnes of cargo was handled. The sectors that show the most growth are liquid bulk (LNG: +148%), container traffics (+14%) and the solid bulk (+32%). Although the port of Zeebrugge stayed 100% operational during the COVID-19 crisis, the roll-on/roll-of traffics and the passenger movements experienced a decrease during this semester.  

The container traffic in Zeebrugge sees a growth of 14% to 8.6 million tonnes. Despite a couple of blank sailings as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis, there was still a growth in traffics when comparing the numbers to the first semester of 2019. 

The roll-on/roll-off traffics decreases with 23% to a volume of 6.5 million tonnes. Within this category, the relapse of traffic of new cars stands out. In the first semester of 2020, the amount of handled cars in the Port of Zeebrugge decreases with 37%. In June, the traffic of new cars already resumed to some extent, and we are expecting that this slight improvement will continue for the coming months.  

The total volume of handled liquid bulk rises significantly with 83%. This increase is mostly the result of the increase in LNG-traffics (+148%) which rose to almost 8 million tonnes. 117 LNG-ships were handled at the Fluxys terminal in Zeebrugge, compared to 54 last year.  

The solid bulk rises with 32% to 814,000 tonnes. The handling of breakbulk declines with 31% to 330,000 tonnes. 

The COVID-19 crisis has a significant impact on the passenger movements in the port of Zeebrugge. On the 11th of March, the last cruise ship of this semester arrived in the Port of Zeebrugge.  On the lines between Zeebrugge and Hull, the transport of passengers halted almost completely. 

Rik Goetinck (CEO a.i.):  

“It is still too early to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on the annual numbers of traffic in 2020, but the positive result of this first semester gives us courage. If, in the second semester, the roll-on/roll-off traffics resume and the other sectors keep on growing, 2020 can still be a successful year for the Port of Zeebrugge.” 

Foto: P. Henderyckx