Port of Rotterdam also sees sharp drop in container throughput
The port of Rotterdam has seen a sharp drop in container throughput in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same period last year. Volume fell 11.6% to 3.2 million TEUs and 11.5% to 31.5 million tonnes. This is an even sharper drop than in Antwerp-Zeebrugge, which reported declines of 5.7% to 3.1 million TEUs and 6.6% to 33.8 million tonnes, respectively. The drop in Rotterdam was mainly due to the loss of trade with Russia, which accounted for 8% of container throughput until last year. The ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge merged last year to form Port of Antwerp-Bruges, marking the combination’s strong progress as a European container port. In the first quarter of last year, the ‘Russia effect’ was barely noticeable, but during the year more and more trade flows fell away, so the effect is now strongly noticeable.
Another important factor is the drop in arrivals of goods from Asia, the main import flow in the container sector. This fell by over 14.2%. According to the Port of Rotterdam Authority, this is due to the fact that companies still have a lot of stocks and the sudden inflation leads to a drop in demand. Finally, the port of Rotterdam experienced loss of some transit flows during the corona crisis, especially to coastal ports such as Zeebrugge. Although the delays in liner and seaports have now largely disappeared, these transshipment cargoes have not yet returned to Rotterdam.