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Ocean cargo: Port of Rotterdam reports positive results

Virtually all categories of goods showed a positive trend.
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
October 25, 2010

Goods throughput in the port of Rotterdam increased over the first nine months of 2010 by 13.4 percent to 321 million tons. Virtually all categories of goods showed a positive trend.

“The growth is leveling off, but is still slightly higher than expected,” said Hans Smits, chief executive of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “The port continues to profit from strong European exports, for which a lot of raw materials also need to be imported. Total throughput is now exactly at the 2008 level.”

According to industry analysts, more Asia-EU trade is a reflection of investment in infrastructure.

“Making ports attractive as part of a routing option may be about focusing on responsiveness,” said Mary Burns, who heads the the Port Performance Research Network, at Dalhousie University, in Nova Scotia. Speaking at the recently concluded American Association of Port Authorities’ annual meeting last month, she noted that “the global economic crisis forced all too re-examine their practices.”
Rotterdam, which has been investing steadily in its infrastructure, reported the following positive statistics:

Iron ore and scrap (+112 percent), coal (+2 percent), other dry bulk (+31 percent), crude oil (+3 percent), mineral oil products (+5 percent), other liquid bulk (+9 percent), containers (+15 percent), roll on/roll off (+6 percent), other general cargo (+14 percent).

“It is exciting to see whether or not we will succeed in climbing out of a deep trough to achieve a record in just one year,” said Smits.
Only agribulk was down (-7 percent). Dry bulk handling shot up by 40 percent to 65 million tons. Liquid bulk grew substantially, by 5 percent to 154 million tons. The growth in general cargo is somewhere in-between: +14 percent to 102 million tons.

Spokesmen said the handling of ores and scrap more than doubled, to 31 million tons.

“The steel plants are running again at virtually full capacity, thanks to the high demand from the automotive industry and machine building,” said spokesmen. “In the meantime, the handling capacity of the Rotterdam terminals has even become stretched.”

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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