Container Volumes Boost Growth in Rotterdam

A strong growth of 12.3% in container throughput pushed the overall growth in the port of Rotterdam throughout 2017.

Total cargo throughput rose by 1.3%, with the port returning to the growth trend seen before 2016, while total tonnage increased from 461 million to 467 million. The rise in containers was offset by a fall in dry bulk of 2.6% and in wet bulk of 4.1%, as break bulk went up by 7%.

“The port of Rotterdam has had a good year. Led by the container sector, goods throughput rose to a record level,” Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, commented.

“In financial terms, 2017 was a good year for the Port Authority, with higher turnover and a higher result before tax. As a result, we were able to maintain our high investments in, among other things, improvements to the port infrastructure,” Paul Smits, CFO Port of Rotterdam Authority, said.

The high level of investment will allow the port to facilitate new and existing customers even better, Castelein said, adding that the port is also making progress in the field of digitalisation.

Container throughput rose by 10.9% to 13.7 million TEU and, by weight, by 12.3% to 142.6 million tonnes. In the second half of the year, tonnage throughput was 14.1% higher than in the same period in the preceding year.

Most growth was seen for Asia and South America and traffic from North America. Feeder volume in particular grew strongly (21% in TEU) for all European shipping areas and in particular Scandinavia and the Baltic states.

Regarding liquid bulk, the throughput of crude oil increased by 2.3% to 104.2 million tonnes, mainly due to the higher utilisation rates for the refineries.

Dry bulk fell 2.6% to 80.2 million tonnes, while Roll on/Roll off sector grew by 6.2%.

The Port Authority expects the throughput volume to increase further in 2018, with growth in the container sector being lower than the exceptional growth in 2017.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority booked a turnover of EUR 712.1 million in 2017, an increase of 4.6% by comparison with 2016. Net profit amounted to EUR 187 million, a fall of 16.6% due to the fact that the Port of Rotterdam Authority was subject to corporation tax with effect from January 1, 2017.

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