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The port authority says that it met the challenge


head-on, in collaboration with all its stakeholders and aims to emerge from the crisis even stronger than before. More than 10 working groups were formed to explore future actions, reporting back to the General Assembly of the port of Antwerp in June this year. This had led to a “Total plan for a more competitive port,” which sets out measures intended to make the port more competitive. In the first six months of 2010 the port handled 4.2m teu, up 16.2%. Work to deepen the navigation channel in the Western


Scheldt began officially in February 2010, promising greater vessel accessibility to Antwerp. Work on the renewal of the Van Cauwelaert lock started


14 Antwerp Throughput: 7,309,639teu


(-15.6%)


Throughput declined by 1,353,252teu at Belgium’s leading box port, mirroring the trend seen at most other North European ports as the fallout the from the worldwide economic crisis took hold.


at the end of 2009 and is due to be completed at the beginning of 2011. Construction of a new quay wall at Canal dock B2


was recently finished and won an award for innovative construction. It involved lowering 24-metre long caissons into the water before pumping them out to create a dry space, into which a concrete header beam could be cast. A new excavation machine for the Liefkenshoek rail


tunnel arrived in November 2009. A new 16.5km tunnel is being dug under the river Scheldt to improve rail connections between the right and left banks.


15 Hamburg Throughput: 7,010,000teu


(-28%)


Germany’s leading box port saw volumes plummet by 2,730,000teu, or almost one-third, in 2009. On its core trades to/from Asia, including China, volumes slumped by 24.3% to 4.2m teu. Even more catastrophic was the near 44% reduction in transhipment traffic with the Baltic, with flows to Russia particularly soft in 2009. The situation was exacerbated by some ocean carriers


switching their relay business to other ports, including Antwerp and Rotterdam which are recognised as being cheaper and where several carriers operate their own terminals. Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) claims that port dues


for feeder vessels are up to 50% cheaper than at Antwerp and Rotterdam, so a new discount on deepsea transhipment cargo should make the port more competitive. Moreover, terminal operators HHLA and Eurogate


have formed a company called Feeder Logistik Zentrale (FLZ) to improve their offerings for the port’s feeder companies. The service is free of charge and its aim is to


August 2010


better co-ordinate scheduling each time a feeder approaches the port. Hamburg has also suffered from the restricted draught


of the River Elbe, which impacts on liner companies’ operating flexibility and loading capacity. The port hopes to see dredging begin in H1 2011. HPA expects a modest recovery of about 10% in


container throughput this year. It tells CS that containers remains one of its strongest medium-term growth sectors.


www.cargosystems.net 21


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