Two regular freight transport lines will no longer use Antwerp port, according to the specialised newspaper Flows. However, the decision will not affect the volume of cargo going through the port.
The port’s management have confirmed it and criticised the companies’ decision on Friday evening. The two lines concerned are 2M’s (which includes Maersk Line and MSC) regular transport line between the Far-East and Northern Europe, used for AE5 containers, and the Samba Service, which links Antwerp to ports in South America.
Maersk Line did not give a reason for its decision, but Flows said congestion at the MPET container terminal might have affected the AE5 service. Despite this, Antwerp port remains an important element in the transporter network. The closure of the AE5 line doesn’t mean there will be no links to Asian ports: the AE2 line to Asia will still go through Antwerp. The decision to close the two lines mentioned might mean that the AE2 line will become busier.
Alternatives are also possible for the Samba Service.
Havenbedrijf Antwerpen has criticised the closure of these two lines. “It shows once again that it’s impossible achieve a strong position in the European port network and you have to work hard every day to survive”, says its spokesman Annik Dirkx.