The Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, has reported a significant increase in container throughput in the first quarter of 2018.
Whilst total freight throughput fell by 1.2% in comparison to the same period last year, mostly due to a fall in throughput of coal, iron ore and crude oil, the throughput of container TEUs increased by 6.1%.
CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority Allard Castelein said: “The continued growth in container throughput is a confirmation that Rotterdam is taking an increasingly important position in the maritime connection networks of large shipping company alliances.
“We are seeing a somewhat more measured growth after the significant growth last year, and this is entirely in accordance with our expectations.”
The increase in container throughput has put volumes at the port at 3.5 million TEU for the quarter.
Rotterdam has also acted as an important hub for the regions shipping network, boosting feeder volumes – volumes transferred to other ports not serviced by deep-sea services – by 7.5% to 0.6 million TEUs.
Read “Container Logistics 4.0. Key Themes for the Next 5 Years” for a breakdown of the key developments occurring in container handling
The port only saw a slight growth of 0.5% in liquid bulk throughput, with a drop of 4.5% in crude oil transport.
However, the throughput of LNG was drastically higher, rising 210% to 0.7 million tonnes – hitting a record volume of over 500,000 tonnes in February.
Dry bulk saw the biggest drop in the quarter, decreasing 13.6% to 18.8 million tonnes.
The port of Rotterdam’s major commodities in the dry bulk segment are iron ore and scrap, and coal – both of which fell, iron ore and scrap by 9.3% and coal by 19%.
The fall of coal throughput can be linked to the decrease in supply for power plants resulting from the closure of older power plants throughout Germany and the Netherlands in 2017.