Brexit stress leads to double digit growth in Zeebrugge
The Port of Zeebrugge saw its cargo volumes increase with 14.3% in the first quarter of 2019 due to pre-Brexit stress. Total throughput amounts to 10.7 million tonnes.
According to port director Joachim Coens many shippers restocked to maximum levels in anticipation of trade disruptions and import levies as a result of Brexit, reports Belgian news site Flows.
In March, ro-ro volumes saw an exceptional growth of 16% in comparison with the same month last year. Manufacturers were keen on having their British stocks piled up to maximum levels, partly due to fears over trade disruptions between the UK and mainland Europe, but also to avoid import levies of up to 10% which could lead a drop in sales.
Next to the staggering growth in comparison with the first quarter of 2018, total throughput in the quarter was also up 4% in comparison with the last quarter of 2018. The growth was also helped by increasing LNG volumes.
Port of Zeebrugge expects next quarter results to be quite a bit lower, now that a hard Brexit has been postponed.