December 18 - UK-headquartered Stemcor - one of the world's largest independent steel handlers - has signed a long-term deal with Katoen Natie for handling and storage of steel at the Port of Antwerp.

Steel will be stored in a specially built Katoen Natie distribution facility and according to Robert Van der Weck, manager of Stemcor, the company aims to develop Antwerp as its Central European hub: "This will enable us to serve customers even more efficiently," said Van der Weck, adding that "these customers are situated within a radius of 650 km of the port of Antwerp, resulting in shorter delivery times."

He went on to say: "By further providing a number of added value services, such as cutting and handling, we are able to offer our customers even more choice."

Luc Arnouts, chief commercial officer of Antwerp Port Authority welcomed the arrangement: "Our inland location in the heart of Europe, bringing shippers close to the European consumers, together with our outstanding expertise as the European steel port, are advantages that lead customers such as Stemcor to opt for the port of Antwerp."