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Port of Rotterdam handles 3.3 million TEUs in 2024 Q1

For the first time in three years, the container segment of the Rotterdam port is experiencing a slight uptick in throughput volumes.

There’s been a 3.3% increase in tonnes moved, rising from 31.5 million tonnes to 32.5 million tonnes, and a 2% rise in TEUs, reaching 3.3 million TEUs in the first quarter of 2024 at the Dutch port.

The situation in the Red Sea resulted in a notable decline in ships (-24.5%) and volume from Asia (-13.7%) during January and February, attributed to delays and missed sailings. Initially, accommodating the altered sailing schedules required adjustments in the logistics chain.

The overall demand for freight remains largely unchanged, with the situation now stabilized. In March, there was a notable increase in the number of arriving ships (11.5%), and volumes from Asia rebounded. Positive results were also observed in other shipping regions, driven by a cautious economic recovery and destocking activities.

Moreover, in the first quarter of 2024, total throughput at the port of Rotterdam decreased by 1.4% compared to the corresponding period last year. Specifically, throughput amounted to 110.1 million tonnes, down from 111.7 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2023.

This decline is primarily attributed to reduced throughput of coal, crude oil, and oil products. However, there was an increase in throughput of iron ore & scrap and LNG. Additionally, container throughput showed a 3.3% increase during this period.

Furthermore, there’s been a significant surge (29%) in feeder traffic from Rotterdam to Mediterranean seaports. This increase is attributed to ships rerouting via the Cape of Good Hope, bypassing certain ports, and transporting cargo destined for the region via feeder vessels from Rotterdam to Mediterranean ports.

However, the total throughput of the breakbulk market segment, including Roll-on/Roll-off and other breakbulk, experienced a slight decline of 1.9% to 7.8 million tonnes. Specifically, Roll-on/Roll-off throughput decreased by 3.8% to 6.3 million tonnes compared to the first quarter of last year, mainly due to ongoing challenges in volumes to the UK. Conversely, other breakbulk saw a notable increase of 7.4% to 1.5 million tonnes.

Dry bulk throughput experienced a 4.5% decrease compared to the first quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, liquid bulk throughput saw a 3.1% decline, amounting to 52.6 million tonnes.

“The throughput figures show limited imports of raw materials and exports of finished products. This tells us that European industrial production is still suffering from high energy prices and low demand from the biggest declining sectors such as construction and the processing and automotive industries. From the growth in container throughput, we see the first signs that world trade is picking up. However, these tentative signs remain highly uncertain due to rising global tensions,” stated Boudewijn Siemons, CEO & Interim COO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

Source: Container News

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