2010, the year of the future

Eddy Bruyninckx - CEO Havenbedrijf AntwerpenIt is no coincidence that we present the 2010 Annual Report under the title “The Year of …” 2010 was a good year for the port of Antwerp and the port community. Not only did we overcome the serious financial crisis of 2009, we overcame it as a port community under the motto “Strong together.” The recovery in 2010 has demonstrated the fruitfulness of this new élan. Antwerp finished the year with a total freight volume of 178,168,003 tonnes, with growth in all categories and with particularly good figures for containers and liquid bulk. The renewed élan has carried over into this year, as demonstrated by the figures for the first quarter of 2011.

2010 was the year of the Total Plan, with various areas of effort being clearly marked out for additional investment. It was also the year of Master Plans for rail, barge and road transport, with the aim of further improving the crucial links with Antwerp's wide hinterland. Good hinterland connections are essential in order to maintain the attractiveness of the port of Antwerp and to take full advantage of its inland position as part of a globally sustainable economy. Collaboration agreements in the immediate hinterland were further extended: Grobbendonk, Liège, Brussels and others are all partners in the “open chain” that Antwerp is creating for even better service to customers. With Port of Antwerp International (PAI) we have taken an important new step in our foreland policy, playing an active role in international port development and taking advantage of the expertise and know-how available within the Port Authority. 2010 was also the year of deepening of the Western Scheldt, which was finally completed. The accessibility for the very largest ships has been spectacularly improved, resulting in a significant increase in the number of container carriers of over 10,000 TEU calling at the port.

As a Port Authority we have played our full role as a co-initiator of the Total Plan, with practical measures to help customers deal with the crisis, a clear investment plan for the future and additional efforts being put into several major projects, in the conviction that this is the right course for what lies ahead. The Antwerp port community has shown great resilience and unswerving faith in the future. I would like to thank all members of personnel of the Port Authority, and to congratulate them on the results achieved.

2010 is not only the year of many achievements, it is also the year of looking forward.

Eddy Bruyninckx
CEO, Antwerp Port Authority

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