Port of Rotterdam throughput figures down for 2023

Port of Rotterdam throughput figures down for 2023

October 25, 2023

General cargo throughput at the Netherlands’ Port of Rotterdam – one of the world’s busiest ports – dropped 13.7% in the first nine months of 2023 compared to the equivalent period in 2022.

Boudewijn Siemons, interim chief executive officer and chief operations officer of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said the results were due to reduced consumer spending, large stocks and lower investments. However, decreased volume figures had been expected, he said.

“Most of the throughput in the first nine months was lower than last year but is in line with our prognoses.

“The economy has not yet recovered and continues to impact throughput figures.

“In spite of less throughput, we are committed to investing in a vital and climate-neutral port going forward.”

General cargo throughput stood at five million tons during the period under review.

This compares to 5.8 million tons in the first nine months of 2022.

In addition, roll-on/roll-off traffic reached 19.8 million metric tons, 3.8% down on the volumes reported in the January-September period last year.

This pushed the total breakbulk cargo throughput to 24.8 metric tons, 6% down on the corresponding period in 2022, Siemons said.

A drop of 6% is what the port reported for overall throughput during the period.

Volumes reached 329.9 million tons compared to 351.0 million tons in the same period in 2022.

The decline was mainly related to the throughput of containers and coal. Throughput of iron ore and scrap, agricultural bulk and liquid natural gas increased.

The drop in the total throughput volume is the direct consequence of limited growth in the global economy and geopolitical tensions, which are driving falling world trade volumes and lower industrial production, Siemons said.

Referring to container traffic, he added: “Global demand for freight is still lower than in 2022 as a result of inflation, limited economic growth, geopolitical tensions and higher spending on services rather than products.

“This has a knock-on effect on the throughput of containers in Rotterdam.

“The container segment saw a decline of 8.1% in weight and 7.2% in the number of containers (TEUs) in the first nine months.”

Siemonds said transhipment volumes increased by 8.1% in the third quarter of 2023.

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