Loss of trade with Russia has driven down the Port of Rotterdam’s container segment output significantly this year.
The container segment dropped by 4.4 per cent TEU in the first nine months of the year, processing almost 11 million TEU.
This is a fall from January – September 2021 TEU figures of 11.5 million TEU.
As a consequence of economic sanctions against Russia due to the ongoing Ukrainian conflict, container traffic between Russia and Rotterdam has almost come to a standstill, the Port of Rotterdam Authority wrote.
In previous years, some 8 per cent of container traffic at the port was related to Russia.
The drop is because “proportionally more empty containers found their way via Rotterdam,” the port authority wrote.
“Although container logistics is still hampered by disruptions as many vessels do not arrive on schedule and due to the high-capacity usage of the terminals, the volume decrease does lead to logistic problems gradually becoming smaller,” the port added.
Container transhipment decreased, especially as a result of the loss of trade with Russia.
The sanctions against Russia led to considerable changes in demand and global energy flows.
Considerably higher volumes of coal and LNG, for example, were imported as alternatives to Russian natural gas.
Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam Authority, added: “The total volume makes it seem as if it is business as usual in the port, but the big changes, especially with respect to LNG and coal, indicate that the energy landscape has changed dramatically.
“With the high energy prices the energy-intensive chemical industry in particular is going through hard times. A faster energy transition makes us less dependent on geopolitical developments in the long term. In the short term, we have to do all we can to retain the chemical industry that is so important to our society.”
The macro-economic climate looks all but promising, the Port of Rotterdam wrote, taking into account inflation, the ongoing war, and a “deteriorated economic climate.”
The Port of Rotterdam Authority expects transshipment volume for 2022 to be of the same level as that of last year.