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American Shipper

Rotterdam port profits fall 1.7% in 2015

The Rotterdam port authority saw full-year profits dip despite growing revenues 2.6 percent to 677 million euros ($738.4 million) in 2015 on the strength of a 4.9 percent increase in cargo volumes.

   The Rotterdam port authority’s revenues increased 2.6 percent to 677 million euros ($738.4 million) in 2015 on the strength of a 4.9 percent increase in cargo volumes, but profits fell 1.7 percent to 211.6 million euros ($231 million) due to the redemption of a long-term loan used to pay for construction of the new Maasvlakte 2 terminal.
   The slow growth in revenues reflects the port authority’s decision to keep fees down as a way to attract business. Revenues from leases rose 1 percent to 341 million euros, while dockage fees increased 3.4 percent to 316.5 million. The port authority granted discounts totaling 3.8 million euros for environmentally-friendly ships.
   The port authority said operating expenses increased 3.3 percent to 133.6 million, mainly due to higher costs for the management and maintenance of port infrastructure and investments such as PortXL and SmartPort. 
   The Port of Rotterdam continues to invest revenues in further development. Investments last year included new buoys and dolphins in the Caland and Hartel Canals, the construction of the LNG breakbulk terminal, quay walls for two other terminals, a jetty for a third terminal and redevelopment of the RDM Rotterdam terminal. Total investments were 151 million compared to 189.4 million in 2014.
   Upcoming projects include diversion of about 4 kilometers of the rail access line, for which the port authority will contribute almost 100 million euros even though it is public infrastructure. The port authority, which is owned by the city of Rotterdam and the Dutch government, has appealed to the European Commission that it should not be required to contribute because governments in other EU countries normally take responsibility for such projects, thus creating an uneven playing field among ports.

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