2018 a record year for the Port of Brussels

The Port of Brussels’ own traffic, namely the loadings and unloadings made in the Brussels Region, reached an all-time record in 2018, its 25th anniversary year, since the creation of the Port of Brussels as a regional entity.

For the first time, more than five million tons were handled there, said on Friday the management of the Port, when they presented the figures for 2018.

Traffic with a destination in the Region showed an increase of 7.7% (+375.000 tons) compared to 2017, while a slight erosion of transit traffic (-15,000 tons) gives figures of a 5.2% increase, with 7.3 million tons.

According to the port of Brussels, the environmental impact of traffic on the waterway is very important: the tons transported in 2018 represent a saving of nearly 680,000 trucks, 106,000 tons of CO2, and 27 million euros in external costs.

In 25 years, Brussels’ port traffic increased by 49% for traffic destined in the Region (+1.7 million tonnes) and 29% for transit traffic (0.5 million tonnes).



According to management, this increase can be explained by the significant efforts made by the Port of Brussels over the years in terms of innovation and to generate new traffic: containers, pallets, building sites, glass traffic, etc.

The container terminal, of limited size, increased once again its historical record with 36,965 TEU (equivalent twenty feet) and an increase of 19% (+5,927 TEU). Containers remain in third position, with construction materials remaining by far the leading sector in Brussels’ port traffic, with just over 60% of trade, followed by petroleum products (23%).



Even though they remain a small minority in relation to imports, exports are up by 31% (+328,000 tonnes), mainly thanks to the action of the Port of Brussels and public authorities to encourage the modal shift of construction works along the waterway from road transport to river transport. Over the years, the Netherlands remains, by far, the biggest trading partner of the Port of Brussels with 66% of traffic by water. They are followed by Belgium and Germany.