Port of Rotterdam Reports Record Numbers for First Half of 2019

International

Port of Rotterdam Reports Record Numbers for First Half of 2019

The Port of Rotterdam reports that it saw a record throughput of 240 million tonnes of cargo in the first half of the year, driven upward by a record volume of container traffic. 

Container throughput rose by more than six percent on a TEU basis, primarily due to higher import and transshipment activity for European market destinations. Containerized cargo from Asian exporters rose, a sign of a strong European consumer economy. Total TEUs rose faster than total cargo tonnage due to a large number of empties handled. 

Energy shipping was also up – especially LNG, which nearly doubled relative to the same period last year thanks to rising exports of competitively-priced American natural gas to Europe. Crude oil imports from the United States also rose markedly, thanks to a discount on American oil relative to Brent, the port said. 

Financially, the increase in total cargo volume has been positive for the port, which saw an operating result of about $155 million for the first half – about seven percent better than the same period last year. 

Global market clouds forecast

The port’s ro/ro traffic has been significantly affected by the touch-and-go nature of Britain’s Brexit preparations. Over the first three months of the year, shippers made preparations for the expected March deadline for Brexit, leading to stockpiling and a rapid increase in ro/ro trade with UK ports. When a “hard” Brexit did not materialize as expected and the EU granted Britain an extension, shippers drew down their stockpiles, leading to a fall in ro/ro throughput. 

“In the macroeconomic field, relations between the world’s major trading blocs remain strained,” said port CEO Allard Castelein. “There is also ongoing uncertainty about the introduction of trade tariffs post-Brexit. Both developments are rendering the prospects for the further growth of world trade uncertain. Given the global uncertainties . . . the Port of Rotterdam Authority expects a slight weakening of the growth in cargo throughput in the second half of 2019.”

https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/port-of-rotterdam-reports-record-numbers-for-first-half-of-2019

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