The volume of cargo handled at the Port of Brussels reached an all-time record in 2018, topping 5 million tonnes for the first time since the port’s creation as a regional entity 25 years ago. The port’s own cargo traffic increased by 375,000 tonnes (+7.7%) over 2017 but transit traffic was slightly down (-15,000 tonnes), giving a total increase of 5.2% and bringing the total volume of cargo offloaded and onloaded at the port in 2018 to 7.3 million tonnes, the port’s management indicated on Friday in its latest performance report.
It said the environmental effect of the port’s activities was considerable: last year’s shipments were equivalent to 680,000 trucks, avoided 106,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and saved 27 million euros in external costs.
In 25 years, the port’s own traffic increased by 49% (+ 1.7 million tonnes) while transit traffic went up by 29% (0.5 million tonnes). According to the port’s management, these increases were due to the considerable efforts made over the years by the port to innovate and to develop new types of traffic – containers, pallets, earth for sites, glass products etc.
The small container terminal, for its part, broke its own record once again in 2018, achieving 36,965 twenty-foot equivalent (TEU) units, an increase of 19% (+5,927) over 2017.
Containers are in third place, with construction material occupying a dominant position in Brussels port traffic, accounting for just over 60% of trade, followed by oil products (23%).
While still less than imports, exports also increased – by 31% (+328,000 tonnes) – thanks mainly to the action of the Port management and the authorities to encourage the modal transport of excavation earth via waterways along the road transport route.
Over the years, the Netherlands have remained by far the largest trade partner of Brussels Port, with 66% of traffic along waterways, followed by Belgium and Germany.
The Brussels Times