The Dutch Port of Rotterdam ended the first quarter of 2018 with a slight decrease in total throughput, mainly due to a drop in volumes in the dry bulk and crude oil sectors.
In the first three months of the year, the port handled 117.8 million tonnes of freight, representing a decrease of 1.2% against 119.3 million tonnes in the same period in 2017. The fall mainly concerned the throughput of coal, iron ore, scrap and crude oil.
In contrast, the growth in container throughput continued to rise and was up by 6.1% to 3.5 million TEU in the period, pushed by an increased throughput performance of the port’s large container terminals.
“The continued growth in container throughput is a confirmation that Rotterdam is taking an increasingly important position in the maritime connection networks of large shipping company alliances. We are seeing a somewhat more measured growth after the significant growth last year, and this is entirely in accordance with our expectations,” Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam Authority, said.
The throughput of mineral oil products, which fell structurally throughout last year, saw an upward trend again last quarter, increasing by 4.8%. In the first quarter, the throughput of LNG was much higher than last year surging by 210%, with a record volume of over 500,000 tonnes in February.