The Port of Rotterdam handled 5.1 percent more cargo during the first quarter of 2019, compared to the same period a year earlier.
In total, 123.9 million tonnes were handled in the period, up from 117.8 million tonnes reported in the first quarter of 2018. The increase mainly concerned the throughput of containers, which increased by 7.3% in TEU, and fuels. Mineral oil products, iron ore and scrap throughput fell.
“We had an excellent start to 2019 with record throughput volumes in the first quarter. The quarterly figures also confirm that Rotterdam is again strengthening its position as storage and transport hub for containers and LNG. For the whole year, we are adhering to our forecast that throughput volumes will increase slightly in 2019,” Allard Castelein, CEO Port of Rotterdam Authority, said.
In total, liquid bulk throughput increased by 4.6% to 58.5 million tonnes. Within this segment, 10.4% more crude oil, or a total of 28.1 million tonnes, was transported during the three-month period.
LNG throughput was also much higher than last year, surging by 143% to 1.8 million tonnes, with a record volume of over 500,000 tonnes handled in February.
Whereas the throughput of iron ore & scrap fell by 17.9% to 5.9 million tonnes as a consequence of 5% lower steel production in Germany, the throughput of coal increased by 15.7% to 7.5 million tonnes. All in all, dry bulk throughput increased by 3.7% to 19.4 million tonnes.
Container throughput increased 5.9% by weight to 38 million tonnes and 7.3% by volume to 3.7 million TEU. The growth is mainly a consequence of a sharp rise in transhipment volumes originating in Asia with destinations elsewhere in Europe, according to the port. However, short sea throughput, the intra-European transport, fell by 7.8% to 6.9 million tonnes due to reduced trade with Russia and lower volumes to the United Kingdom in January and February.
Finally, the total volume in the breakbulk segment increased by 9.2% to 7.9 million tonnes. RoRo traffic was up by 10.7% to 6.4 million tonnes compared with the first quarter of last year.