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Rotterdam sees TEU decline amid stable financial results

The Port of Rotterdam handled 13.4 million TEUs in 2023, translating to a 7% drop compared to the previous year’s figures. Additionally, the container throughput in tonnes was 130.1 million tonnes, lower by 6.8%.

“Container throughput has proved to be very volatile in recent years in response to Covid and geopolitical developments,” said a Port of Rotterdam official, adding that the main reasons for the decline that began in 2022 and continued in 2023, are “lower consumption, lower production in Europe and the discontinuation of volumes to and from Russia pursuant to the sanctions.”

Additionally, the Roll-on/roll-off traffic (RoRo) fell by 5% to 25.9 million tonnes, while the break bulk sector saw a 15,1% decrease, largely attributable to the decline in container rates, resulting in more cargo being shipped in containers rather than as break bulk.

Furthermore, the throughput of dry bulk in 2023 was 11.8% down from 2022, while liquid bulk throughput was 3.4% lower than last year.

However, the Port of Rotterdam Authority reported financial stability with its revenues rising by 1.9% to €841.5 million,  operating result before interest, depreciation and taxes (EBITDA) increasing by 0.9% to €548.6 million and the net result falling by 5.6% at €233.5 million.

“The lower net result was attributable to two one-off items in 2023,” pointed out the Port Authority, explaining that “acquired nitrogen deposition rights were revalued downward (€8 million) in response to the ruling from the Council of State relating to the 25-kilometre cut-off. In addition, the Porthos guarantee premium (€7.3 million) was booked, leading to a lower result for participating interests.”

The Port Authority invested a total of €295.4 million during the previous year, almost 15% more than in 2022. The largest investments were the investments in quay walls for the container sector (€72.9 million), land reclamation for the Prinses Alexiahaven (€23.1 million) and the fendering in the Rozenburg lock (€12.8 million).

Boudewijn Siemons, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, stated, “2023 saw ongoing geopolitical unrest, low economic growth due to higher interest rates and faltering global trade, all of which had a logical effect on throughput in the port of Rotterdam. However, the year also saw many major investment decisions and milestones in the transition to a sustainable port.”

Source: Container News

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