PORT OF ROTTERDAM TONNAGE UP DESPITE DECLINE IN CONTAINERS
'The port of Rotterdam said Tuesday that, despite a 6.1-percent drop in container volumes for the first half of 2001, overall tonnage rose 2.3 percent to 161.8 million tons.
The port handled 31 million tons of containerized cargo in the first half, compared to 33 million ton in the year earlier period. Container throughput fell 3.2 percent to 3.1 million TEUs. The number of empty containers handled rose 19.3 percent.
Port officials blamed the decrease on a shift of feeder cargoes to other ports.
“This is particularly so as the economic growth is slackening and cargo is being lost because believe that cargo controls in Rotterdam are strict, leading to delays,” the port said in a statement. “There is only a small chance of this but shipping companies and shippers tend, nevertheless, to avoid the risk of delay.”
The port said it has worked with customs, ECT and shipping companies and brokers to develop a procedure for carrying out checks within an acceptable time frame.
Rotterdam also saw a 7-percent decline in roll-on/roll-off volumes, to 4.6 million tons. The loss was attributed to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease, as about 80 percent of the port's ro/ro cargo to and from Great Britain involves foodstuffs.
Sharp increases in coal transshipments (up 26 percent), crude oil (7.5 percent) and agribulk (16 percent) offset the general cargo losses.