The port of Antwerp has revealed that it saw an increase in the handling of refrigerated containers and perishable goods in 2017, while also confirming that port service providers are focusing on innovative solutions and expanded infrastructure for perishable goods.
During a press breakfast at Fruit Logistica in Berlin, Port Authority business development manager Maartje Driessens outlined that Antwerp handled 9.97m tonnes of perishable cargo in 2017, up 7.5 per cent on the previous year.
Growth measured in TEUs actually hit 8.5 per cent, rising from 704,853 TEUs in 2016 to 765,105 TEUs – evidence of the "continuing positive development of the past few years" as a "preferred perishables hub".
In order to be able to meet this growth trend, service providers are already preparing for the future in a number of ways, from the expansion of the infrastructure such as additional refrigerated and fresh storage facilities, to innovative solutions such as blockchain technology and sustainable transport concepts like groupage freight transports of 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," said Driessens. "We are approaching the 10m-tonne mark, which we hope to exceed next year."