Strong growth in container traffic helped the Port of Rotterdam post a record overall freight tonnage in the first quarter of 2019, up 5.1% on the same period last year.
Overall volumes increased for the quarter from 117.8 million tonnes to 123.0 million tonnes, largely due to the port’s continuing strength as a transhipment hub for the Asia-Europe trade routes.
Container traffic grew by 5.9% and overall liquid bulk was up 4.6%, offsetting reductions in tonnages of mineral oil products, iron ore and scrap metal.
According to a Port statement, Rotterdam remains the principal European transhipment hub for the three largest major shipping alliances.
Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “We had an excellent start to 2019 with record throughput volumes in the first quarter.
“The quarterly figures also confirm that Rotterdam is again strengthening its position as storage and transport hub for containers and LNG.
“For the whole year, we are adhering to our forecast that throughput volumes will increase slightly in 2019.”
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Feeder tonnage, connecting with the major carriers at Rotterdam from other European ports, is up 15.1% in Q1 this year.
Short-sea throughput between Rotterdam and other European ports fell 7.8% to 6.9 million tonnes, due to reduced trade with Russia and the UK in the first quarter of this year, but deep sea services operating multi-call routes between European and Asia ports are on the rise, the port says.