Port of Rotterdam’s first half box growth sluggish
Europe’s largest container port, the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, increased its container traffic 2 percent to 4.7 million TEUs in the first half of this year, well below the growth shown by its nearest rivals Hamburg in Germany and Antwerp, Belgium.
Hamburg’s half-year box traffic was up 10.7 percent to 4.2 million TEUs, while Antwerp, Europe’s third-largest container port, increased its box volume by the same 10.7 percent to 3.5 million TEUs in the first six months of the year.
In the first half of 2006, Rotterdam’s total traffic for all types of commodities went up just 1.1 percent to 186 million tons of cargo. Liquid bulk cargo was up 2 percent to 87 million tons, dry bulk cargo dropped 1 percent to 44 million tons, while general cargo rose 2 percent to 55 million tons.
“We got off to a slow start this year. The first quarter was rather meager, but then things picked up. Unfortunately, this was tempered by computer problems at ECT, a strike in the agribulk sector and a shutdown for maintenance work on a blast furnace and a few refineries,” said Hans Smits, chief executive officer at the Port of Rotterdam Authority
“In the second half of the year, the recovery process will continue. As a result, annual throughput figures could be up by 2 percent on last year,” Smits said.