Rotterdam Boosts Container Throughput

 18 Apr 2017     Automation and Optimisation , Cargo Volumes and Throughput, Carriers, Containers, Mega Ship Ready, Oil, Gas and Chemical Handling, Ports

Rotterdam Port has recorded a substantial 8.8% growth in container volume, which it says is significantly above the market average, in the first quarter of 2017.

A total of 2% more goods passed through the Dutch Port of Rotterdam in the first quarter than in the same period last year.

Growth in volumes was seen across 10 different commodities, excluding liquid bulk, and gave the port a throughput volume of 119.3 million tonnes.

Rotterdam Port points to several metrics as evidence it is on the path to being a regional hub for containers.  

Container increased 10.8% by weight to 34.3 million tonnes and 8.8% by volume to 3.3 million TEU.

Activity on new terminals on Maasvlakte 2 improved, and transshipment cargo returned despite having been moved by shipping companies in late 2015 and early 2016.

This led to a 22% increase in the volumes carried by feeder vessels observed by the port.

Such feeder vessels convey containers with intercontinental cargo to and from other ports not directly called on by the deepsea intercontinental services.

The port saw a 25% increase in breakbulk cargoes, including more roll-on roll-off traffic to the United Kingdom due to new services that started late last year.

Throughput for other general cargo grew by nearly 50%, mainly due to more slab steel.

Liquid bulk cargo volumes dipped by nearly 5%.  The port put this down in part to lower Russian fuel oil throughput due to the increase on the export duty levied in Russia.  The volume of chemicals and vegetable oils fell, while that of biofuels rose.

Within dry bulk the throughput of both coal and scrap iron ore increased slightly, and dry bulk throughput rose 3.6%.

New shipping schedules introduced in April and added connections to the Far East are set to furhter affect volumes in a few months.

Technical Paper: The Challenge of Fragmented Container Port Capacity

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “For containers, this was the best quarter ever, and March was a record month.

“The Rotterdam container companies have performed strongly in a market experiencing only limited growth. We shouldn’t rejoice too soon, but with the new sailing schedules which are favourable to Rotterdam taking effect this month, this looks set to be a good container year for us.”