“Net” increase in goods traffic within the Port of Brussels during first half of 2018
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    “Net” increase in goods traffic within the Port of Brussels during first half of 2018

    © Belga
    The quantity of goods loaded or unloaded in the Port of Brussels is returning to 2008's pre-Crisis levels.
    © Belga

    Goods traffic in the Port of Brussels in the first half of 2018 recorded a net increase, compared to the same period last year. With 3.8 million tonnes in overall traffic (up by 13.1%), including more than 2.6 million tonnes in its own traffic (an increase of 16.4% on last year), port activity thus proved to be in exceptionally good shape during the first half of the year. The managing company for the site was delighted to report the results on Friday.

    The port’s own traffic, in other words goods loaded or unloaded at the Port of Brussels, is finding the level that it had before the 2008 crisis, even slightly exceeding the best half-year result recorded in 25 years. The company operating the premises noticed this, describing the sign as “highly encouraging.”

    The main part of this increase came from exports (675,000 tonnes, up by 95%). The explanation is the disposal of building site soil, which increasingly regularly takes place using the inland waterways for works located close to the port. The measure has enabled the avoidance of some 38,000 lorries loaded with building site soil driving up and down the roads of Brussels, during the first six months of this year. Imports increased by 2%.

    Container activity recorded a decline of 2%. During the first six months 14,988 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit, an approximate container measurement, editor’s note) was in effect transported, compared to 15,327 TEU during an exceptional first-half in 2017. However, the intention is to absorb this decline during the next six months, the Port of Brussels assures the Belga press agency. Over the entirety of last year, the port achieved an all-time high of around 31,000 TEU.

    The top-three categories of commodities remain unchanged compared to one year ago. Construction materials (58.9%), still outstrip petroleum products (23.7%) and the ‘miscellaneous’ segment, which includes container traffic (7.7%).

    The Minister-President of Brussels, Rudi Vervoort is delighted by the positive growth of traffic on the Brussels Canal (the northernmost part of the Brussels-Charleroi Canal). Welcoming the position, he said, “[The waterway] has witnessed an increasing change in practices. The canal is becoming a genuine mobility link in Brussels.”

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times