Global economy weighs on Rotterdam’s throughput

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Port of Rotterdam throughput declines in first three quarters

The Port of Rotterdam Authority’s throughput was 6 per cent lower in the first nine months of 2023, compared to 351 million tonnes in 2022.

According to the Port of Rotterdam, the decline was mainly due to a decrease in container and coal traffic. Iron ore and scrap, agricultural bulk, and LNG throughput all increased.

The decline in overall throughput volume is a direct result of the global economy’s restricted growth and geopolitical tensions, which are causing dropping world trade volumes and reduced industrial production.

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The container segment saw a decline of 8.1 per cent in weight and 7.2 per cent in the number of containers in the first nine months. The transshipment volumes increased by 8.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2023.

In addition, Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) traffic (3.8 per cent) and other general cargo (13.7 per cent) fell as a result of reduced consumer spending, large stocks and lower investments. The total throughput in the breakbulk segment therefore fell by 6 per cent.

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Boudewijn Siemons, interim CEO and COO of Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “As we expected, the throughput in the first nine months was lower than last year but is in line with our prognoses.

“The economy has not yet recovered and this continues to impact throughput figures. In spite of less throughput, we are committed to investing in a vital and climate-neutral port. In the third quarter, we reached an important milestone in the CO2 transport and storage project, Porthos.

“After a positive ruling by the Council of State in August, the definitive investment decision was taken in October and construction will begin as soon as possible. Thanks to Porthos, some 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 will be captured annually and stored.”

This month, the Port of Rotterdam Authority unveiled the first large CO2 transport and storage system in the Netherlands, in collaboration with Porthos, EBN, and Gasunie.

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