Sea transport

Decrease in the volume of goods in Belgian ports in 2023

Mobility
Decrease in the volume of goods in Belgian ports in 2023

In 2023, the volumes of goods loaded and unloaded continued to decrease compared to 2022 and 2021. However, over a 10-year period, the basic trend remains upward. This is what emerged from the official figures published by Statbel, the Belgian statistical office.

The total quantity of goods unloaded in Belgian sea ports amounted to just over 146 million tonnes. This is a decrease of 6.7% compared to 2022 and an increase of 19.3% compared to the year 2013.

The quantity of the goods loaded decreased by 3.7% compared to 2022. Yet this is a 21.5% increase compared to 2013.

In 2023, the number of ships arriving in and departing from Belgian ports has continued to decrease, following a trend that began more than ten years ago. This decrease can be explained in part by the increase in the size of ships, which allows a greater quantity of goods to be transported per voyage.

The total number of sea-going ships arriving in Belgian sea ports amounted to 22,303. This is a decrease of 3.4% compared to 2022 and of 10.8% compared to the year 2013.

The total number of sea-going ships that departed is 22,316, or a decrease of 3.6% compared to 2022 and of 12.3% compared to 2013.

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Sea transport (2021-2023)

Sea transport (2021-2023) 2021-T3 2021-T4 2022-T1 2022-T2 2022-T3 2022-T4 2023-T1 2023-T2 2023-T3 2023-T4
Arriving ships (a) 6,076 6,189 5,659 5,905 5,849 5,666 5,475 5,821 5,641 5,366
Departing ships (a) 6,095 6,155 5,677 5,923 5,851 5,691 5,475 5,840 5,663 5,338
Cargo loaded (x 1,000 t) 33,077 34,336 33,268 33,688 31,645 32,789 31,621 31,992 30,925 32,052
Cargo unloaded (x 1,000 t) 37,178 38,799 39,723 42,442 37,988 36,687 38,456 38,319 34,683 34,939
Disembarked passengers (x 1,000)(b) 1,631 487 331 468 579 625 817 908 940 970
Embarked passengers (x 1,000)(b) 1,815 655 411 414 557 602 737 805 903 800
(a) Including extra-Community transit.
(b) Excluding cruise passengers
Source: Statbel (Directorate-general Statistics - Statistics Belgium)
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Sea transport (1997-2023)

Sea transport (1997-2023) 1997 2007 2010 2015 2020 2021 2022 2023
Arriving ships (a) 32,248 34,043 28,812 24,806 23,679 24,609 23,079 22,303
Departing ships (a) 30,291 35,080 29,640 25,770 24,006 24,552 23,142 22,316
Cargo loaded (x 1,000 t) 61,856 102,365 100,794 112,468 126,387 136,321 131,389 126,590
Cargo unloaded (x 1,000 t) 100,208 134,327 125,561 128,715 142,288 152,506 156,840 146,397
Disembarked passengers (x 1,000)(b) 925 378 300 177 19 3 2 4
Embarked passengers (x 1,000)(b) 1,021 381 310 176 21 3 2 3
(a) Including extra-Community transit.
(b) Excluding cruise passengers
Source: Statbel (Directorate-general Statistics - Statistics Belgium)
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Purpose and brief description

De zeevaartstatistieken geven een beeld van de evolutie van het aantal zeeschepen, de tonnenmaat en het scheepstype, het aantal en gewicht van de goederen, het vrachttype, het continent van lading of lossing, het aantal passagiers…

Frequency

Quarterly

Timing publication

Results available 5 months after the reference period

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