New routes highlight Antwerp’s breakbulk business

ANTWERP: Samskip is to begin a twice-weekly container service on October 12 linking the ATO terminal in Antwerp and Associated British Port’s Hull with a 508 TEU-capacity vessel.

The new operation adds to the company’s existing shortsea services connecting Rotterdam with Tilbury, Hull and Grangemouth (eight per week) and the three times weekly Amsterdam-Hull service.

Samskip UK & Eire Regional director Richard Beales said: “Manufacturers and logistics providers have a new efficient choice that offers an optimal routing, reduces their exposure to increasing road congestion and driver shortages, is cost effective and reduces CO2 in the supply chain.

“With the current Brexit uncertainty we believe that our spread of dedicated short sea services can offer robust options for companies wanting to prepare by de-risking their supply chain,” he added.

ATO is a certified Antwerp terminal operator specialising in barge/truck transhipments including five times per week to both Antwerp’s deep-sea container terminals via the Scheldt and – via the Albert Canal – to and from the LCT Liège Container Terminal.

ATO managing director Johan Gemels noted: “Attracting a major multimodal operator such as Samskip very much aligns with the growth plans of ATO and fits perfectly with our services of handling ships, barges, trucks and trains.”

The UK is Antwerp’s third largest maritime trading partner, contributing around 15 million tonnes of freight every year.

Recently the port gave a preview of what the breakbulk sector can expect over the coming year with an evening of networking and entertainment for 400 industry executives, including an opera performance on the water and a sound and light show.

“The industry recognises that Antwerp has long been the home of the breakbreak sector,” commented Nicholas Powell, organiser of the upcoming Antwerp XL exhibition from May 07-09 next year. “Within the first few weeks we have already secured a large number of exhibitors and now it’s important that we are listening to what the breakbulk community is saying and providing a solution to their needs,” he added.

Antwerp XL is managed by Brussels-based Easyfairs, an exhibitions specialist for the oil & gas, cargo, maritime and logistics industries. More information: visit www.antwerpxl.com or event manager Sophie.McKimm@easyfairs.com