Antwerp's Port in Good Shape (1919)
The Belgian Ministry of Shipping has cabled regarding the condition of the port of Antwerp that the extensive Rhine quay berths, where the Red Star liners used to lie and Which were blocked with lumber and all kinds of materials during the German occupation, have been all cleaned up and are ready for the proper discharging and loading of ocean steamships.
As the result of the energy and perseverance of the base, naval, and port authorities these quays are quite as useful to-day as they were in the prewar period.
There Is an excess of cranes over the actual number formerly In use, soundings show that there has been no excessive silting up along the quayside, and vessels of average draft lie safely afloat at all tides. The rails have been connected up and scores of rail wagons pass over the tracks dally loaded with goods from Incoming steamers.
There is plenty of labor to be had. The ScheIdt River pilots and other seasoned river men say the channel has suffered no appreciable damage through neglect, and at dead low water, there is twenty-one feet, with a tide variation of 14-16 feet, while most of the aids to navigation have been replaced and the fairway Is well buoyed.
Since the armistice, a total of 324 seagoing ships have entered Antwerp, representing In February a good percentage of the pre-war tonnage of the port. It Is Interesting to note the development of this traffic by months:
December: 50 seagoing ships, 83,333 tons.
January: 109 seagoing ships, 167,333tons.
February: 162 seagoing ships, 124,251 tons and the early Indications are that
March will see a further large Increase In this tonnage.
“Antwerp’s Port in Good Shape.” In The Nautical Gazette, Volume 95, No. 13, March 29, 1919, Page 214