Regarding general cargo, it remained almost stable at 20.1 MT. However, there was a downturn in Cross-Channel traffic (15 MT), as the market prepares for Brexit. Namely, the number of trucks and trailers fell by 2% to 583,000 freight units, while that of passenger cars stood at 579,000 vehicles (-16%).
What is more, passenger traffic reduced 11% to 2,341,000 travellers. In addition, containers achieved a record year at 450,000 TEU, an increase of 7%. The increase is due in particular to Dunkerque's positioning as a transhipment hub. Break-bulk cargo also posted good figures, increasing by 9%.
On the other hand, solid bulk was down 9%, standing at 23.5 MT. The economic downturn currently affecting the European steel industry is weighing on the ore and coal traffic which fell by 10% and 19% respectively to 13.3 MT and 5.3 MT.
The coal sector is also experiencing the more structural effect of the drop in demand for steam coal. Boosted by a good start to the 2019/2020 campaign grain trading achieved an important increase of 43% at 2 MT. Additionally, traffic in 'small' solid bulk fell 9% to 2.9 MT.
Furthermore, liquid bulk rose very sharply by 71% to 9.4 MT, because of a very high level of LNG trading. The new LNG terminal berthed 72 port calls over the full year representing a total traffic of 5.1 MT (+ 320%).
Overall, gas traffic rose by 232% at 5.6 MT, while petroleum products saw a decline of 2%, reaching 3.34 MT, with other liquid bulk growing 4%, standing at 0.5 MT.