The United States surpassed Russia in 2022 to become the most important trading partner of the North Sea port. The Port of Ghent had a record year and strengthened its position as the tenth largest port in Europe. “Very significant,” says port boss Dan Schalk.
Due to EU sanctions, trade with Russia fell by 15 percent, while the United States saw nearly 30 percent growth. A total of 6.3 million tons of cargo went to and from the United States by ocean liner through North Sea ports.
This made the United States the most important trading partner and Russia the second, followed by the United Kingdom. Trade with Ukraine has been cut in half because of the war, but Australia appears to be a popular alternative for port companies: trade is up 123 percent.
During the year, 73.6 million tonnes of cargo passed through the port by sea and 64.5 million tonnes by inland navigation. These figures represent a seven percent increase compared to 2021. Transport of coal, petroleum, construction materials and vehicles has increased.
Despite the sanctions and the war, the port of Ghent had its best year since joining the ports of Vlissingen and Terneuzen in 2018. Strengthened”, says Dan Schalk of North Sea Port. “Most notable after Brexit, the two corona years, the impact of the Ukraine-Russia war and the energy crisis.”
Since the opening of the connecting port, around 7,000 jobs have been created. 241 hectares of land was released in the port area. This led to an added value of 12.6 billion euros.
North Sea Port expects 2023 to be a lean but solid year. We believe that energy prices will decrease and investments will continue at similar levels.