USDA BACKS STBÆS RAIL MERGER PROPOSALS
The port of Rotterdam handled a record 323.4 million tons of cargo in 2000, up 6.5 percent, despite a dip in container volumes.
The 2000 total volume was 9 million tons more than the previous record, set in 1998. Strongest growth was in coal (up 26.8 percent), ores and scrap (up 21.8 percent), oil products (14.6 percent) and other liquid bulk (mainly chemicals, 11.8 percent).
Container tonnage declined 1.2 percent, while throughput dipped to 6.3 million TEUs, from 6.4 million TEUs in 1999. The port blamed the decline on rerouting of some cargo to other ports by Maersk Sealand and due to capacity programs and reorganziation at its main terminal ECT. The Grand Alliance and the United Alliance have also re-routed feeder strings or are allocating other ports more containers in their deepsea services.
“Next year I expect at least part of the diverted cargo back in Rotterdam,” said Willem Scholten, chairman of Rotterdam Municipal Port Management. He noted that P&O Nedlloyd/ECT will open a new container terminal on the Maasvlakte next year.