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Barely eight percent of what industry produces in the Antwerp port area is loaded onto trucks. And barely two percent of all raw materials and products processed by the Antwerp industry are delivered by road. Pipelines and ships are the two main modes of transport for both inbound and outbound flows. This is apparent from a survey that Voka Chamber of Commerce Antwerp-Waasland conducted at the request of Port of Antwerp.

The Antwerp-Wase Chamber of Commerce has been monitoring production volumes since 1980 in order to relate them to the energy consumption and emissions of Antwerp industry. At the request of Port of Antwerp, a detailed analysis of the incoming and outgoing flows of the 21 largest production sites in the port area has now been added for the first time. This exercise mapped out the modes of 80% of all transported goods.

The main findings from the research:

  • Pipeline transport accounts for almost 70% of the total inbound volume and over 30% of outbound volumes
  • Transport by water is by far the second most important mode: almost 30% of goods are supplied and more than 50% are removed via water
  • Road transport represents only 7.7% of outbound transport and less than 2% of inbound transport
  • Rail transport remains underused for the time being, with around 4% of outgoing flows and 0.3% of incoming flows
Modal split Antwerp production companies – source KvKAW, 2019. The analysis is independent of the volumes entering the port for transhipment.

This study once again proves the great importance of pipelines as a logistical asset of the chemical sector in the port of Antwerp and the rest of Flanders. It is an essential means of transport that takes tens of thousands of trucks off the road every year and ensures the safe and environmentally friendly supply and disposal of all kinds of raw materials, chemical products and industrial gases.

As a chemical federation, essenscia also aims to double the transport of chemical products by rail in the next ten years. To achieve this objective, there is intensive cooperation with partners such as Infrabel, Lineas, Railport and the Belgian ports.