Rotterdam Achieves TEU Milestone in 2018


The Port of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, has announced that it broke its record in 2018 for annual container throughput, handling a total of 14.5 million TEU to solidify its number one position.

TEU volume, compared to 2017, grew by 5.7% last year, driven by a growth in the numbers of transhipment and full import containers entering Rotterdam.

According to the port’s results, container exports developed less strongly in 2018 due to such factors as Chinese import restrictions on waste flows, while the shortsea segment “suffered from slowdowns in the British and Russian economies”.

Vincent Campfens, Port of Rotterdam, discusses digital ports in a recent Port Technology technical paper

Rotterdam has also highlighted 2018 as a year of great investment, with spending rising by 91% to US$459.8 million: the highest level of investment since the construction of its Maasvlakte 2 terminal.



A large proportion of the funding has been used to improve the logistical accessibility of the port, which is being achieved by constructing the Container Exchange Route on the Maasvlakte, building the Princess Amalia Viaduct, and rerouting the port’s railway.

In addition to this, Rotterdam Port Authority’s internationalisation strategy was boosted in 2018 by its acquisition of a minority stake in the Brazilian port of Pecém.


Credit: Eric Bakker


As well as its economic contribution, the port has underlined the work it conducted in 2018 to increase levels of physical and digital safety, implementing new security camera and increasing its resilience against cyberattacks.

Rotterdam is also “committed to drastically reducing CO2 emissions”, leading the way for other ports seeking to make their operations more environmentally-friendly.



A further statement from the port, focusing on its outlook for the future, read: “The Port Authority expects throughput volume to increase slightly in 2019, with container sector growth being lower than the exceptional levels seen in previous years.

“The Port Authority is implementing a ‘both-and’ strategy: strengthening the existing port industrial complex and at the same time embracing new initiatives in the fields of energy transition and digitisation.”

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