The ports of Vlissingen, Terneuzen and Ghent, which merged into North Sea Port in 2018, suffered from the corona crisis and the oil crisis last year. Brexit also made itself felt, both in a positive and negative sense. All in all, more than eleven per cent less goods were transhipped by seagoing ships in the ports.
The decrease was mainly in liquid bulk such as fuels. Due to the low oil prices and the low demand for fuels as a result of the corona crisis, transshipment here decreased by approximately one fifth. The transshipment of dry bulk such as coal and ores also decreased, although this had also happened in previous years. On the other hand, the transshipment of other goods, such as iron slag, scrap metal and wood pellets, increased.
Container transshipment did show growth. In particular, more containers went to Great Britain, which was helped by the fact that British companies built up stocks out of fear for problems caused by Brexit. Also, more bananas in containers entered the port.
Ro/ro transport, which concerns the transport of moving goods such as cars, also took a hit. Car factories shut down during the first lockdown and import restrictions into the UK made themselves felt. The transport of cars was back to normal at the end of last year.
The total throughput in the three ports amounted to 118.3 million tonnes of goods. Of this, 63.5 million tonnes came by sea and 54.8 million by inland navigation.