The Dutch Port of Rotterdam experienced an increase of 4.9% in goods throughput reaching a total of 466.4 million tonnes in 2015, which was mostly driven by a rise in crude oil and oil products throughput.
“Low oil prices result in high margins for the refineries, so they have large quantities of oil shipped in for refining. This not only applies to the refineries in Europe but also to those in Russia. The latter produce a relatively large amount of fuel oil which is shipped to the Far East via Rotterdam. The result is an 8% increase in the throughput of crude oil and an 18% increase in the throughput of oil products,” Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam Authority, said.
The port handled 10.9% more liquid bulk than in 2014. Namely, the throughput of crude oil increased by 8.1% to 103.1 million tonnes, driven by low oil prices, while the supply and transport of oil products increased by 18% to 88.5 million tonnes, and the throughput of LNG increased by no less than 91.3%. Other liquid bulk throughput decreased by 0.5% to 30.8 million tonnes.
Furthermore, the port said that containerized cargo volume fell by 0.5% to 12.2 million TEU and by 1.1% to 126.3 million tonnes. A total of 6.2 million TEU was handled in the first half of the year, while the second half saw 6 million TEU.
The volume of transport to Asia increased by 2%, while container transport to Latin and North America fell. Within Europe, transport to the Iberian Peninsula and Great Britain increased.
The British economy also played an important role in attracting roll on roll off (Ro/Ro) traffic over the North Sea. An additional factor was that transportation via Calais suffered from strikes, refugee problems and failures in the tunnel under the English Channel.
Ro/Ro traffic increased by 10.1% to 22 million tonnes. Other break bulk decreased by 5.5% to 5.7 million tonnes. The main reason was the one-time flow of incoming container cranes in 2014. Together, throughput of Ro/Ro and other break bulk shipping segments increased by 6.5%.
In the category of dry bulk, the throughput of ores and scrap fell by 0.6% to 33.9 million tonnes. The throughput of coal increased by 1% to 30.7 million tonnes. Good harvests provided lower imports of mostly oil seeds and fodder, as a result of which agricultural bulk fell by 3.8% to 10.8 million tonnes. The amount of other dry bulk decreased by 3.9% to 12.3 million tonnes as fewer nutrients and minerals were imported. All in all, the handling of dry bulk decreased by 1%.