Europe’s second largest seaport, the Port of Antwerp, recorded a 7.5% rise in the volumes of refrigerated containers and perishable goods handled in 2017 (10 million tons). Thus continues the positive trend seen in recent years. To cater for the expected future growth, the port’s service providers are increasing infrastructure capacity with additional refrigerated and fresh storage facilities and implementing blockchain technology and sustainable transport concepts like groupage freight transports or modal shift.
“The continuing growth of reefer traffic via the Port of Antwerp confirms that the range of transhipment and extended services for perishable goods offer real added value to the market. We are approaching the 10 million tons mark, which we hope to exceed next year,” said Maartje Driessens, business development manager perishables of the Antwerp Port Authority, at a press breakfast at this year’s Fruit Logistica.
Transport connections with the world’s fruit and vegetable producing regions have also been upgraded. In 2017, there were new or expanded connections to West Africa (Cameroon, Côte d’ Ivoire, Ghana and Morocco) and Latin America (Ecuador, Chile and Peru). The Levante Express of MSC now offers a direct connection to Beirut as well as optimised transit times between Antwerp and Turkey and Italy.