Rotterdam sees cargo volumes rise
The Port of Rotterdam said volume increased sharply in the first quarter when compared to the same period last year.
Total volume was 107 million tons, up 14 percent over the first quarter of 2009. Container volume rose 21 percent to 2.6 million TEU.
“This positive state of affairs is due largely to the trade with Asia. Intra-European traffic, which leans heavily on the British Isles, lagged behind,” the port said. “Despite this, roll-on/roll-off traffic, concentrated almost wholly on England, picked up slightly: by over 7 percent to 4 million tons.'
The Dutch port said most types of goods were up: iron ore and scrap, up 77 percent; other dry bulk, 32 percent; oil products, 30 percent; and other liquid bulk, 7 percent.
But agribulk volumes fell 32 percent and coal was down 17 percent. Other general cargo and crude oil remained virtually unchanged.
Hans Smits, chief executive officer of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said, “the recovery in comparison with 2009 is very marked, but I prefer to compare it to 2008. That was a top year and up to now we are getting close to it. I'm remaining non-committal though, because consumers are still reserved and governments are making massive cuts. The growth will level off. The question is, will the port be able to make up for last year's 8 percent decline this year in one go. That would be a wonderful achievement.'