Third quarter confirms: Zeebrugge stays on course during COVID pandemic


The port of Zeebrugge is holding a steady course amid global challenges. Although some sectors are severely under the influence of the Covid-19 crisis, the overall result in the port is positive.

Total Tonnage +6.1%

Roll-on/roll-off -19.9%

New Vehicles -32.4%

Containers +10.9%

Liquid bulk +42.1%

Solid bulk +33.5%

Break bulk -31.1%

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, roll-on/roll-off volumes in the port of Zeebrugge have taken a downturn. The automotive industry is experiencing difficult times, which results in a decline of the handling of new vehicles in our port. (- 32.4%) This figure weighs on the total roll-on/roll-off tonnage (9,934,693) and causes a loss of 19.9 percent.

Zeebrugge’s container traffic has grown 10.9 percent to a total volume of 13,049,293 tonnes. Only a few Covid-related deep sea cancellations occurred during quarter 2 and 3, which allowed the sector to continue its growth on all fronts: deep sea containers +65.7%, short sea containers +22.9% and estuary containers +58%.

The liquid bulk volume went up 42.1 percent to a total of 10,401,855 tonnes. The liquid natural gas (LNG) volume still shows record breaking figures: 86.8% growth in the past nine months. (Total volume LNG: 9,178,173 tonnes)

Break bulk declines 31.1 percent. (total volume: 473,139 tonnes). A gradual decline in break bulk cargo has emerged over the past few years, due to a shift in the shipping of paper products from break bulk to containers.

The volume of solid bulk in the port of Zeebrugge grew 33.5 percent to a total of 1,291,549 tonnes. Infrastructural works in and around the port of Zeebrugge boost the handled amount of sand and grint (+34%). Also, the handling of feedingstuffs has increased 68,5%.

The passenger traffic in the port of Zeebrugge has been reduced to hardly any at all, due to the restrictions concerning travel. Since mid-March, there weren’t any cruise calls in the port of Zeebrugge and ferry passenger traffic is very limited.

Tom Hautekiet, CEO Port of Zeebrugge: “Most sectors in Zeebrugge deliver strong results despite the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences. The automotive industry will continue to struggle the next few months, so we will probably not be able to make up for the losses we suffered in the spring. We do expect a rise in the number of roll-on/roll-off traffic in the final quarter of the year. As we have experienced in 2019, the imminent Brexit will most likely cause a stock building in the UK.”
Source: Port of Zeebrugge



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