ROTTERDAM : In the first quarter of 2017, 2.0% more goods passed through the Port of Rotterdam than in the same period last year. The growth in the container sector (8.8% by volume (TEU), 10.8% by weight) is particularly striking. Of the 11 different commodities, only mineral oil products and other liquid bulk showed a decrease. The total throughput volume increased to 119.3 million tonnes.
Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority: “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.”
Liquid bulk : In the liquid bulk segment, more crude oil (+2.3%; 26.6 million tonnes) and more LNG (+65.6%; 0.2 million tonnes) was handled. In total, liquid bulk throughput decreased by 4.7% to 55.6 million tonnes.
Dry bulk : Within dry bulk, iron ore & scrap and coal are the main commodities. The throughput of both increased slightly: iron ore & scrap by 0.5% to 7.9 million tonnes, and coal by 1.5% to 8.0 million tonnes. Agribulk increased by 14.0% to 2.9 million tonnes. Other dry bulk grew by 8.5% to 3.0 million tonnes. All in all, dry bulk throughput rose 3.6% to 21.7 million tonnes.
Containers : Container throughput increased 10.8% by weight to 34.3 million tonnes and 8.8% by volume to 3.3 million TEU (the standard unit for containers). This appears to be significantly more than the market average.
Breakbulk: Roll-on roll-off traffic is still on the rise, including to the United Kingdom (+6.5%; 5.7 million tonnes). This is mainly due to new services that started late last year. The throughput of other general cargo increased sharply (+49.9%; 1.8 million tonnes), mainly due to additional handling of steel in the form of slabs. The total throughput of the breakbulk segment (RoRo and other cargo) increased by 14.5% to 7.6 million tonnes.