October 24 - The Port of Antwerp handled a freight volume of 148,344,168 tonnes during the first nine months of this year, which is 3.7 percent more than the same period of 2013.

The port says that if it stays on trend, it will finish this year with a new record freight volume. Last year was already an all-time record with a volume of 190.8 million tonnes.

While container volumes rose by 6 percent year-on-year during the first nine months of 2014, conventional breakbulk showed negative growth, down 3.2 percent at 7,438,174 tonnes. Steel imports, however, showed an increase of 4.6 percent during the first nine months of the year.

Ro-ro volumes fell slightly during the past nine months to 3.379.423 tonnes, a decrease of 0.8 percent compared with the same period of 2013.

Antwerp has also seen significant investment in its liquid bulk handling, with Refinery Total beginning construction on a new installation at its site in the Belgian city, which will produce more diesel and kerosene, among other things.

The 32 modules for this plant were built by a construction yard outside of the plant and will be carried to the Total site by outsize transport over the next few months. Some of the modules are up to 22 m in height, and the port claims that the transport operations will be the largest and heaviest ever on the public highways of Antwerp.