The Port of Rotterdam’s total throughput fell by 2.2% in the first half of 2018 compared with the same period last year, despite a 6.2% increase in container volume.
The port handled 232.8 million tonnes of cargo in Q1 and Q2 of 2018, and saw its market share in the ports and hubs located between Hamburg and Le Havre increase from 30.9% in Q1 2017 to 31.2% in Q1 2018.
However, an increase in container volume did not offset the decline in throughput of wet and dry bulk, especially coal and crude oil.
In a statement, the Port of Rotterdam claimed it was financially stable, but that the US-China tariff war and Brexit were potential threats.
It said: “The global economy benefits from free trade and measures that promote free trade.
“Import tariffs and trade quotas interfere with global trade and are therefore bad for the global economy.
“Relations between large trading blocks in the world are currently strained.
“In addition, it is uncertain whether negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom will lead to a new trade agreement after Brexit.
“Both developments are rendering the prospects for the further growth of world trade uncertain.
“The fluctuations in volume in the Port of Rotterdam would not, for the time being, seem to be caused by recent trade restrictions, the impact of which will be felt only after some time.
“The Port of Rotterdam Authority is continuing to monitor developments closely.”