PORT of Rotterdam's total cargo throughput this year will stay at the same level as in 2012 at 442 million tonnes, with container throughput down due to the economic crisis and rival port of Hamburg winning back some cargo.
The top performance in 2013 came from the dry bulk sector such as coal, iron ore and agribulk.
The container sector declined 3.1 per cent to 122 million tonnes, down 3.1 per cent, and container throughput fell 1.7 per cent year-on-year.
"An important reason is the low demand for consumer and other goods resulting from the economic situation. In addition, cargo shifted to Hamburg, ports in Scandinavia and the Baltic were more frequently served directly by vessels from the Far East and Rotterdam suffered capacity problems during peak volumes. Finally, industrial unrest caused vessels to choose other ports," said a statement from port authorities.
Deep sea volume fell 3.4 per cent in TEU terms and feeder volume in TEU terms was down 11.5 per cent. On the other hand, short sea traffic in TEU terms, increased 13.2 per cent, mainly because of the economic growth in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltic states.
Said Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Hans Smits: "Container throughput is down slightly. The main reason for the lack of growth is the continuing economic slump. In the past three years, throughput increased by one per cent, but that isn't on the cards this year, despite the fact that the second half of the year was better than the first. The Port of Rotterdam's total market share remained stable."
Mr Smits expects little change in 2014 because the new container terminals on Maasvlakte 2 will become operational from the end of 2014. Total throughput in Rotterdam is forecast to increase by one to 1.5 per cent in 2014.
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