Majority of top European container ports record negative growth figures for 2020

One of the big container terminals in Hamburg harbour. Big cranes are waiting to load and unload the giant container ships. Giant 50 Mpx image, taken with Canon EOS 5Ds and Tilt Shift 17mm 4,0.

PortEconomics has released its ranking of the top 15 container ports in Europe by TEU for the first three quarters of 2020 with the vast majority recording negative growth figures.

The Port of Rotterdam maintained its number one position despite a drop of 4.7% of TEU compared with the same period in 2019.

Dr. Theo Notteboom, co-founder and co-director of PortEconomics, noted in an article that Antwerp is the only large gateway port in the top 15 which was able to reach a volume level comparable to 2019.

Large difference between the ports and the decline experienced must be observed Notteboom said.

Graph: PortEconomics

Algeciras recorded a very modest decline, while others saw their TEU throughput drop by double digits (i.e. Le Havre, Barcelona, Genoa and Hamburg), he noted.

Cosco-owned Greek hub port of Piraeus and the port of Gdansk in Poland, two fast climbers in the European container port ranking, both record negative growth figures for the first time in many years.

Finally, Notteboom said that when comparing the nine-month 2020 growth figures to 2009 growth figures, it becomes clear the two crises had in many cases a very different impact on container throughput development in the top 15 ports in Europe.

PortEconomics is a web-based initiative aiming at generating knowledge about seaports. It is developed and empowered by the members of the PortEconomics group, that are actively involved in academic and contract research in port economics, management, and policy.

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