The steel will be stored and handled in Antwerp, from where it will be transported to overseas destinations and the European hinterland. For this purpose Ruukki will work with the logistics group Thor Shipping & Transport and Antwerp Stevedoring International, the stevedoring division of Wijngaard Natie.
Port alderman Mr Marc Van Peel officially thanked the parties involved in the town hall, and expressed his pride that they had opted for Antwerp.
Expertise in steel handling
He said that "It is highly significant that a leading steel solutions company such as Ruukki has chosen Antwerp as its distribution hub. Our expertise in steel handling, the advanced facilities for this and of course the wide range of distribution possibilities are decisive advantages. These are, amongst others, the reasons that Antwerp is by far the largest steel port in Europe. Now, thanks to the decision by Ruukki we hope to further consolidate this position in future. Last year the volume of steel handled in Antwerp rose by 30% and we expect to see further growth this year, particularly in view of the high added value generated by these goods and the associated handling."
Unloaded and loaded
After a successful test voyage in December 2011, Ruukki has been sending weekly consignments of steel to Antwerp from the city of Raahe in Northern Finland. The various steel products are unloaded and loaded in Wijngaard Natie's covered All Weather Terminal in the Albert dock, where high value goods can be handled under protection from wind and rain.
The European market leader
As the European market leader Antwerp handled more than 9 million tonnes of steel last year. Thanks to the more than 250 regular break bulk calls per month there is a large and highly diversified range of overseas connections, both deep sea and short sea. Nearly all known steel manufacturers ship their products via Antwerp, including coils, sheets, steel plate, long iron, tubes and non ferrous products.