Port of RotterdamÆs box growth limited
Capacity restrictions at Europe's largest container port, the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, saw its container volume rise a modest 4 percent to 9.6 million TEUs in 2006.
'Virtually the whole of the port is continuing to operate at full capacity,' said Hans Smits, the Port of Rotterdam Authority's chief executive officer.
'Only when the major expansions, such as the EMO coal terminal and the Euromax container terminal, have been completed will it be possible to accelerate the growth. This is sorely needed,' Smits said.
One of Rotterdam's closest rivals in terms of container throughput, the Port of Antwerp in Belgium, has reported a provisional 8 percent rise in box volume in 2006 to about 7 million TEUs with its Deurganck tidal dock handling 800,000 TEUs in its first full year of operating. Antwerp's total cargo volume is expected to improve 4 percent to 167.3 million tons.
Rotterdam's total cargo throughput in 2006 was a record 377 million tons, up 1.7 percent from the 369.2 million tons handled in the previous year.
Smits said Rotterdam's container throughput would again be limited in 2007 to about 6 percent with total cargo throughput expected to rise 2.5 percent to about 386 million tons.