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Port of Rotterdam throughput volume up to 469.0 million tonnes in 2018

Logistic News - Published on Tue, 19 Feb 2019

Image Source: movablelab.eu
At 469.0 million tonnes, the port of Rotterdam’s total throughput volume ended up slightly higher in 2018 than in 2017, which was itself a record year (467.4 million tonnes). Container transhipment was the engine of growth again, with a 4.5% increase in tonnage. Measured in TEUs, the standard unit for containers, the increase was 5.7% and the annual total was 14.5 million TEUs – also a record. This strengthens the position of Europe’s largest container port in this strategically important market segment. Significant underlying shifts were observable in the goods segments. Whereas container transhipment continued to grow at a healthy pace, that of crude oil, mineral oil products and agribulk fell. Throughput of LNG (+163.6%) and biomass (+31.6%) saw a further spectacular rises last year.

For the Port of Rotterdam, 2018 was marked by a high level of investment. Gross investments rose 91% to EUR 408.1 million (2017: EUR 213.8 million), the highest amount since the construction of Maasvlakte 2. By far the largest part of this amount was used to further improve the logistical accessibility of the port of Rotterdam, for example by constructing the Container Exchange Route on the Maasvlakte, the Princess Amalia Viaduct and relocating the port railway via the Theemsweg route. Also, the Port Authority’s internationalisation strategy was given a significant boost in 2018 by the acquisition of a minority stake in the Brazilian port of Pecém.

Liquid bulk
With the exception of LNG, liquid bulk recorded lower throughput volumes in all subcategories last year. The throughput of crude oil decreased slightly, due in part to somewhat lower refining margins. Even so, remarkably, throughput exceeded 100 million tonnes for the fourth year in a row. The throughput of mineral oil products fell mainly as a result of less fuel oil coming into and leaving the port. The huge increase in LNG throughput (+163.6%) was mainly caused by transhipments of LNG, originating from the Yamal field (Northern Russia), from ice-class LNG tankers to ‘normal’ LNG tankers, which then transported the cargo onwards to Asia and elsewhere.

Dry bulk
Despite the market being under considerable pressure, the dry bulk segment showed only a slight downturn in throughput (-3%). In the coal subcategory, the consolidation strategy that is being used appears to be working well for Rotterdam: throughput rose by 2.3%. Thermal coal remained at the same level as the previous year. The throughput of coke coal rose thanks to success in attracting cargo packages for Germany. Iron ore throughput fell in 2018, among other reasons due to the renovation of a blast furnace and because of stagnating demand from the steel industry. The fall in agribulk throughput in Rotterdam was partly caused by the shift of cargo packages to Amsterdam.

Containers
Container transhipment saw a further strong increase in 2018, as a result of which market share was gained in the Hamburg-Le Havre range. A key factor in the increase in 2018 was the growth in numbers of transhipment and full import containers. Container exports developed less strongly, partly due to Chinese import restrictions on waste flows. The shortsea segment suffered from slowdowns in the British and Russian economies.

Roll on/roll off and other breakbulk
In RoRo transhipment too, which ended the year slightly up, the British RoRo trade showed less growth, probably due to the effects of Brexit uncertainty on the British economy.The transhipment of other breakbulk cargo was around the same as the volume in 2017.

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Posted By : Joykumar Irom on Tue, 19 Feb 2019
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