This means that in 2018, North Sea Port achieved the milestone of 70 million tons, compared to 66.6 million tons in the previous year. One year after its official opening as a fusion port, North Sea Port is maintaining its position as a true bulk port and specialist in general cargo.
Wet and dry bulk, general cargo and containers on the upswing
Dry bulk accounts for nearly half of the goods transshipped by sea-going vessel at North Sea Port. This segment grew by 4.6% to 32.8 million tons. A strong construction market has resulted in more transshipment of sand, gravel and building materials. The transshipment of coal – mainly for the processing industry – showed a slight increase. Agricultural products are on the rise as well.
The transshipment of wet bulk increased to 20.5 million tons (up 6.3%), largely thanks to strong growth in the chemical and petrochemical sector and the bio-diesel trade. Transshipment of conventional (general) cargo rose by 4.5% to a total of 11.8 million tons as a result of greater volumes in many different kinds of cargo. Demonstrating extremely strong growth – 61% – the transshipment of containers via sea-going vessels totalled some 1.7 million tons. This is due to the attraction of new services and an increase in the number of refrigerated containers. Only RoRo saw a slight dip, decreasing by 3.4% to 3.5 million tons.
Inland shipping on the rise as well
It wasn't only transshipment via sea-going vessel that had a great year in 2018: inland shipping enjoyed a record year of its own. Inland shipping increased by 2.5% to reach a total of 58 million tons.
With 70.3 million tons of goods transshipped via sea-going vessel and 58 million tons via inland shipping, North Sea Port achieved a total transshipment of 128.3 million tons in 2018. And that's before you add the 10 to 12 million tons transferred via pipeline.
Trans-Atlantic and European coastal shipping
North Sea Port focuses on both European coastal shipping and the trans-Atlantic flow of goods. When maritime transshipment is divided by continent, Europe accounts for 61% of all activity. The shipping areas of South and North America represent 16% and 14% respectively. Africa is good for 4%, Asia takes 3% and, lastly, Oceania claims 2%. This distribution is identical to that of 2017.
North Sea Port distributed 88 hectares of land for lease in 2018.
With the transshipment of goods growing in virtually all segments and another record year under their belt, North Sea Port is entering 2019 with a cautiously optimistic attitude. While demand for commercial space in the port remains high as ever, the imminent Brexit and waning economic growth give reason for caution. In addition, and as expected, the growth of transshipment began to slow somewhat in mid-2018.