Port Tracker: European ports see growth
Six major North Europe ports handled 37.38 million TEUs of container traffic in 2010, a 12.5 percent increase from 2009 according to an estimate released this week by Global Port Tracker, a report prepared by Hackett Associates and the Bremen Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics.
Across the six ports — Le Havre, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Bremen-Bremerhaven and Hamburg — inbound volumes are estimated at 15.23 million TEUs, up 12.9 percent, while outbound volume is estimated at 15.72 million TEUs, up 11.2 percent. The total also includes 6.43 million TEUs of empties.
Ben Hackett, founder and principal of Hackett Associates is forecasting high single-digit growth for both imports and exports in 2011. He cautioned, however, “We should not expect to see a repeat of last year's growth for imports, as these were the result of the post-recessionary period, whereas this year will be impacted by the austerity measures of the European governments.
'With regard to freight rates, I believe that supply will continue to outstrip demand and will put downward pressure on freight rates, particularly if carriers revert to market share strategies,' he added.