Port of Rotterdam achieves highest ever container throughput

ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS Shipping containers are moved in the APM Terminal in the new Maasvlakte 2 in the Port of Rotterdam.

The Port of Rotterdam processed 15.3 million TEU in 2021, its highest yearly total on record.

Almost all goods types showed increases compared to 2020 levels. One of the sharpest rises was the increase in the throughput number of containers.

The 15.3 million TEU throughput is an increase of 6.6 per cent compared with 2020. Throughput in terms of the number of containers has never been higher in Rotterdam. 

Revenues rose by 2.6 per cent to €772.7 million ($861.3 million), while operating expenses fell by 5.5 per cent to €260.5 million ($290.4 million). The operating result before interest, depreciation and taxes (EBITDA) was 7.3 per cent higher than 2020 levels at €512.2 million ($571 million).

Rotterdam received 10 per cent fewer visits by large container vessels. However, they unloaded an average of 20 per cent more containers on each occasion, increasing the pressure on the terminals.

On 22 December 2021 the port processed its 15 millionth TEU.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, commented: “In terms of throughput volume, the port is back to its pre-corona level. Companies in the container sector in particular performed excellently, handling a record number of containers despite all the problems this sector faced worldwide last year.”

In 2022, container logistics worldwide are expected to continue to suffer from a myriad of problems including COVID-19 and capacity restrictions “for quite some time,” the port wrote in its announcement.

“The main cause, the corona pandemic, is still with us and structural adjustments will take time. Shipping companies are building more vessels but many of them will not be in service until 2023.”

The port expects total cargo throughput in 2022 to be at similar levels as in 2021, in line with the trend in recent years. For the container segment, Rotterdam adds, the expectation is that the disruption of logistics will continue for a long time in 2022 but that Rotterdam’s competitive position is favourable.

In January, Shell has signed a supply contract with thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers’ to develop a 200 MW green hydrogen facility at the Port of Rotterdam.

Earlier this week the port announced it would begin the tendering process to launch a pilot project for a mobile facility for shore-based power on hydrogen.

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