Volume Rises at Port of Rotterdam
Port of Rotterdam posted a record overall freight tonnage in the first quarter of 2019, up 5.1% on the same period last year, thanks to strong growth in container traffic.
In total, 123.9 million tonnes were handled compared with 117.8 million tonnes in the same period in 2018.
"The increase mainly concerned the throughput of containers (+7.3% in TEU, +5.9% in tonnes) and fuels. Mineral oil products, iron ore and scrap throughput fell," said a press release from the largest port in Europe, located in the city of Rotterdam.
Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam Authority: "We had an excellent start to 2019 with record throughput volumes in the first quarter. The quarterly figures also confirm that Rotterdam is again strengthening its position as storage and transport hub for containers and LNG. For the whole year, we are adhering to our forecast that throughput volumes will increase slightly in 2019."
Container throughput increased 5.9% by weight to 38.0 million tonnes and 7.3% by volume to 3.7 million TEU (the standard unit for containers). This growth is a continuation of the significant increase realised last year and is mainly a consequence of a sharp rise in transhipment volumes originating in Asia with destinations elsewhere in Europe.
In total, liquid bulk throughput increased by 4.6% to 58.5 million tonnes. Within this segment, more crude oil (+10.4% to 28.1 million tonnes) was transported than in the first quarter of last year.
Within the dry bulk segment, iron ore & scrap and coal are the main commodities. Whereas the throughput of iron ore & scrap fell by 17.9% to 5.9 million tonnes as a consequence of 5% lower steel production in Germany, the throughput of coal increased by 15.7% to 7.5 million tonnes. Low coal prices have resulted in increased purchasing and stock build-up.
The total throughput in the breakbulk segment (Roll-on/Roll-off and other cargo) increased by 9.2% to 7.9 million tonnes. RoRo traffic increased by 10.7% to 6.4 million tonnes compared with the first quarter of last year.