COVID-19 to Wipe 20% of Traffic in Europe's Largest Port
Throughput at the Port of Rotterdam is set to drop by up to 20% this year as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts production and trade worldwide, Europe's largest sea port said on Thursday.
Throughput of containers, coal, oil products and other bulk goods already declined 9.3% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the port authority said, as economies around the globe shut down in an attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
"We are facing unprecedented disruptions", the port's Chief Executive Allard Castelein said.
"A 10 to 20% drop in throughput volume on an annual basis would seem to be very likely. This will depend on how long the measures remain in place and on how quickly production and world trade recover."
Castelein said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on trade would become clearer in the months to come, as lockdowns in Europe and the United States only went into effect at the end of the first quarter.
(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Susan Fenton)