The total tonnage for the first semester of 2021 increases by +0.6% (25,226,457 tonnes) in comparison to the same period last year. This slight increase confirms the positive trend that was also visible in the results of Q1 2021. The port of Zeebrugge can again present nice growth figures.
The roll-on/roll-off traffics increase with 13.8% to 7,348,816 tonnes. The roll-on/roll-off traffics on Ireland experiences a growth of 23.7%, thanks to the increased capacity on these routes. As a result of the Brexit formalities, a growing number of traffics are transported directly to Ireland to avoid the UK landbridge. Shipping companies have increased capacity on these liner services in response to rising demand. Traffic from our other shortsea connections, Scandinavia (+13.8%) and Southern Europe (+28.7%), is also doing well. Due to the Brexit, roll-on/roll-off traffic to the UK had a slow start in early 2021. However, volumes returned to normal at the end of Q1. This trend continued throughout the second quarter, limiting the loss to 1.7% today.
In the treatment of new cars, we see an increase of 20.7% for this semester (1,165,772 units). Although this is an increase, this number is not yet at the level it was before the pandemic. This is partly due to a worldwide shortage of certain parts, which continues to hamper the industry.
The number of containers handled continues to show good growth. In the first half of 2021, there is an increase of 18.8% (10,240,210 tonnes, +24.1% TEU) compared to 2020. As a result of the increase in deep-sea (+28.2%) and short sea (+41.1%) traffic, we see that estuary traffic is also on the rise (+18.5%).
The volume of liquid bulk handled in the port of Zeebrugge decreases by 27.7% (6,388,926 tons). 97 LNG carriers called at Zeebrugge compared to 116 last year. This decrease is due to exceptionally high LNG volumes in the first six months of 2020, which have normalised this year.
The general cargo decreases by 2.9% to a volume of 321,172 tonnes.
Solid bulk rose by 13.9% to a volume of 927,333 tonnes.
Tom Hautekiet, CEO Port of Zeebrugge: "The growing number of traffics on our shortsea connections to Ireland, Scandinavia and Southern Europe, in combination with the increase in the deepsea container traffics, prove that Zeebrugge is a flexible logistic turntable. Both sectors reinforce each other. The decreases in liquid bulk and general cargo are in line with our expectations. As for LNG, we know that it will be almost impossible to match the record year of 2020. The shipment of general cargo has been increasingly shifting to containers for some years now. Although we still face challenges worldwide, the port of Zeebrugge is on a stable course."
Overview total tonnage per month 2021
January '21: 3,677,501
February '21: 3,868,873
March '21: 4,461,729
April '21: 4,354,144
May '21: 4.826.785
June '21: 4.037.425
Jan-Jun '21: 25.226.457