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BMI View: Air freight will be the fastest growing mode in 2016 although total volume carried by air
remains minor compared to road and rail. The mode will benefit from increased production of
pharmaceutical goods driving exports by air while road and rail will continue catering domestic freight
transport needs and trade with neighbouring countries. Inland waterways will return to positive growth
rates this year and throughput at Belgium's main sea ports will expand with their gateway role providing
gains from recovering European economies.
Key Updates And Forecasts
? Disruptions across freight modes were caused by nationwide strikes in Belgium in May and June. The
disagreement of labour unions with government policy translated into lengthy delays in ports, airports,
rail and road networks.
? TAAG Angola Airlines has been operating a new freight flight from Liege to Luanda since June,
increasing air freight capacity to Belgium.
? The Port of Antwerp signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran's Port of Shahid Rajaee in July,
targeting collaboration on improving trade between them.
? We forecast road freight to increase by 2.2% in 2016 to 311.4mn tonnes, rail freight by 2.5% to 58.7mn
tonnes and air freight by 5.1% to 1.2mn tonnes.
? We expect container traffic at Belgium's largest port, Antwerp, to increase by 5.5% to 9.9mn twenty-foot
equivalent units (TEUs) in 2016 and growth to average 6.0% over the medium term (2016-2020),
reaching 12.6mn TEUs in 2020.
? Total trade real growth in 2016 is projected at 3.8% and to average 3.9% over the medium term.
? Main trade partners will be the Netherlands, Germany, France, the US and the UK.