The Dutch Port of Rotterdam sees the increase in orders for giant container ships as a competitive advantage over rival ports.
In recent months container shipping continued to increase in scale. In the last quarter the record for the largest container vessel in the world was broken twice, and it has now been announced that MOL (four 20,150 TEU vessels on order), CMA CGM (three 20,600 TEU vessels) and OOCL (six 21,100 vessels) will set new records.
Rotterdam welcomes these developments because the port is much more easily accessible for such ships than rival ports. That translated into a 70% increase in the number of second calls in the first quarter to 51. Ships sail between Asia and Europe on a fixed schedule and are increasingly using Rotterdam as the first and last port of call.
Container throughput at the Dutch Port of Rotterdam in the first quarter of 2015 increased by 7.6% to 3.1 million TEUs and in tonnes by 5.1% to 32 million tonnes, compared to the same period in 2014.
The growth was achieved despite the fact that some terminals are currently experiencing bottlenecks due to the heavy workload, and can be explained by the economic recovery in Europe and the relocation of transhipment cargo from other ports to Rotterdam.
In the first quarter, the overall goods throughput in Rotterdam was 7.2% up on the same period of last year.
Liquid bulk throughput (particularly crude oil and oil products) increased by 4.7%; however, dry bulk (particularly ores and coal) fell by 5.1%.
Breakbulk throughput was 4.4% up, to 6.4 million tonnes. Roll-on/roll-off traffic, focused primarily on the UK, grew 10.6% due to the strong British economy and strong British Pound. Other general cargo fell by 17.1% compared to 2014, which was exceptionally good.
”The positive trend in the handling of mineral oil products and LNG is striking. After declining last year, oil products are now experiencing a strong recovery. LNG throughput is even growing in triple figures and is really getting into its stride,” Allard Castelein, Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO, said.
”Container throughput is also increasing sharply. Last year Rotterdam grew faster in this sector than rival ports. An increase of almost 8% combined with two new terminals on Maasvlakte 2 is generating a lot of confidence in the development of this sector in the coming years.”