North Sea Port has best six months ever for cargo traffic

Published on Tue 3 Jul 2018
In the first six months of 2018 North Sea Port registered a total seaborne cargo traffic of 35.8 million tonnes. With an 11% growth as compared to the same period in 2017, this is the best half year ever. The increase that was registered last year continues steadily in about every segment.

The growth is mainly visible in those sectors in which North Sea Port specializes: dry and liquid bulk and general cargo. But also the relatively smaller segments such as container traffic and ro/ro are on the up.

Bulk and general cargo

As for the tonnages, the dry bulk sector takes up the biggest part of the cargo traffic with 16.1 million tonnes. The growth by almost 5% is mainly visible in the strong construction market (sand, gravel and building materials). Coal traffic, mainly for the processing industry, remains stable. Liquid bulk is good for round 11 million tonnes and underwent an increase by no less than almost 25%. It is mainly the (petro)chemical sector that made good progress. The increase is partially the consequence of a relatively low traffic in the first six months of 2017 because a number of companies introduced a maintenance stop then. The general cargo traffic increased by 6% to a total volume of over 6 million tonnes. The increase can be found in vegetables, fruit and agricultural products, paper and cardboard traffics and that of metal and steel constructions, among others.

Ro/ro and containers

The rolling stock or ro/ro volumes improved by 2% and ended at almost 2 million tonnes. Among other things the growing number of sailings with Sweden and Norway take care of this.

The container traffic again underwent a very strong growth by 52% and is evolving towards 1 million tonnes. As a matter of fact, a number of companies at North Sea Port succeeded in attracting new (liner) services.

Also inland navigation is on the up

Not only the seaborne cargo traffic is strongly increasing. Also inland navigation shows an improvement in the first six months of 2018: an increase by 9% to almost 31 million tonnes.


North Sea Port is very pleased with the fact that as a newly merged port it experiences an increase of no less than almost 11% in the first six months of 2018. Expectations are that in the second half of 2018 the increase will not be that big. As a matter of fact, the second half of 2017 was far better than the first.

About North Sea Port

North Sea Port is a cross-border port area that is 60 kilometres long. The area stretches from Vlissingen and Borsele over Terneuzen in the Netherlands to 32 kilometres inland to the Flemish/Belgian port of Ghent. Since January 1, North Sea Port has become the merged port between the Dutch Zeeland Seaports (with Vlissingen and Terneuzen) and the Flemish Ghent Port Company.