Year Summary 2017: Results and expectations for 2018

  • Port of Zeebrugge

The roll-on/roll-off volume in Zeebrugge grew 4.3 percent in 2017, to a total of 14.962.878 tonnes.

Scandinavian roro-loads experienced a spectacular growth of 23.5%. Last year the growth figure on this region was already 11.7 %, which means this sector continues to grow stronger and stronger each year.  

The volume of traffic to and from the United Kingdom is stable, despite the Brexit decision. (+0.4%) The destinations Teesport (+10.1%) and Hull (+16.6%) set very nice results. There is an evolution noticeable from RoRo to LoLo in the service to Hull.

P&O Ferries noted a record volume on Tilbury, with more than 185,000 freight units shipped in 2017. (+4.9%)

The roro volume on Ireland grew 4.6%.

Within the roro sector, the volume of new vehicles grew 2 percent to a total of 2.83 million vehicles. The last month of the year was one with a negative figure (4% less vehicles handled in December 2017 than in December 2016). In this case, this does appear to be a Brexit effect (lower sales in Britain). The port sees this as a warning towards the growth of new vehicle traffic between Zeebrugge and the UK for the future. Nonetheless, 2017 was again a record year for the automotive sector in Zeebrugge.

The container sector saw growing figures for both deepsea and shortsea throughout the year 2017, thanks to the NEU4 service by Ocean Alliance (CMA CGM), P&O Ferries lolo-service to Hull and the containerised kiwifruits via Seatrade ships. The new COSCO Shipping Ports Zeebrugge Terminal gave another boost of growth at the end of the year. The container volume in Zeebrugge thus grew 6.5% to a total of 15,379,359 tonnes. (1.5 million TEU’s, +8.7%)

The liquid bulk volome (-31%) fell heavily under the influence of a gross drop in the LNG volumes (-62%). The high asking prices for LNG in Japan and Korea, combined with a high demand in China and India, result in the LNG-volumes going toward Asia instead of Europe.

The solid bulk and breakbulk are experiencing a setback after a year of peaks. Globally, both sectors are however stable.

The solid bulk drops 12 percent because of the end of the construction on the A11 highway, which brought large volumes of sand and grint to our port.

Breakbulk falls 11 percent, mainly because the gigantic modules for the Yamal LNG regasification installation were all shipped by the beginning of 2017 (this project started in 2016). Also, kiwifruits arrived in containers rather than reeferships, which makes that they are now part of the container volume. And paper loads are more and more containerised in SECU’s and shipped on cassettes, which also keeps those volumes out of the statistics for breakbulk.

In 2017 Zeebrugge received one more cruise ship than the year before. We missed two calls in December (Queen Elisabeth and Queen Victoria) due to bad weather conditions. Zeebrugge had a total of 143 cruise calls in 2017.

On the 31st of December, the number of acknowledged port labourers ( = effective and non-effective) was 2,080. Both the number of performing port labourers (7,798 / +6.1%) and the number of shifts (347,884 / + 1.5%) set a record. The rise in port labour is a consequence of the growing automotive sector and the roll-on/roll-off services.

The number of vacant positions in our region rose 3 percent the past year. Many profiles are requested for these positions in our port, from engineers to labourers.  

A total tonnage of 37.12 million was handled in the port of Zeebrugge in 2017.