Rotterdam handles 467 million tonnes of cargo in 2017; up by over 12 percent

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February 15, 2018: Port of Rotterdam Authority posted a strong growth in its container throughput during 2017. It handled 467 million tonnes of cargo, up by 12.3 percent compared to last year.

The increase in container traffic was offset by a dip in dry bulk by 2.6 percent, and wet bulk by 4.1 percent. Break bulk, including roll on/toll off, and other break bulk increased by seven percent.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority said: “Our port witnessed good business in 2017, which was led by the container sector, as goods throughput surged to a record level. There were high level of investments made, which will allow us to serve our new and existing customers even better. We are currently implementing our plans for energy transition and digitalisation. We are also supporting the goal of the Dutch coalition agreement to reduce CO2 emissions to 49 percent of the 1990 level by 2030. To make this happen, we are now evaluating a large number of projects.”

“We have also made significant progress in digitalisation. Along with our customers and partners in the supply chain and digital platforms, we are developing digital innovations in Rotterdam. Our port plays an active role to collect data and information, and make it available to our customers. Our goal is to make our port and the logistics chains smarter to safeguard seamless throughput of traffic and goods. We are all prepared to face challenges in 2018, as we prepare for Brexit.”

Paul Smits, CFO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority said: “In financial terms, 2017 was a good year for the port, with higher turnover and a profit before tax. As a result, we were able to make huge investments to improve our port’s infrastructure, and stay ahead of the competition.”

In 2017, the net result of the port dipped due to implementation of corporation tax for the first time.

CONTAINER THROUGHPUT

Container throughput witnessed a rise by 10.9 percent to 13.7 million TEUs, and by weight by 12.3 percent to 142.6 million tonnes. During the second half of the year, tonnage throughput stood at 14.1 percent higher (12.4 percent in TEUs), compared to the same period during the preceding year. 

There has been a steady growth in the last five and half years. Rotterdam's share of the container market is currently at its peak since 2000, at 31 percent. Most of the growth was seen from Asia, South America and North America. Feeder volume also grew by 21 percent in TEUs across the European region, particularly in the Scandinavia and the Baltic states. 

Growth in short sea accounted to 10.2 percent, with sharp increase in throughputs from the Mediterranean and ScanBaltic. 

The hinterland volume also rose by 6.3 percent. Similarly, throughputs from second Maasvlakte rose sharply, with rise in volume in all other terminals.

The throughput of loaded containers increased by 12.1 percent, which outstripped the rise in empty containers by 6.1 percent.

LIQUID BULK

The throughput of crude oil increased by 2.3 percent to 104.2 million tonnes. It was mainly due to higher utilisation rates in refineries. The incoming and outgoing flows of mineral oils and oil products fell by 10.8 percent to 79.2 million tonnes, due to fall in the exports of fuel oil from Russia. The level of fuel oil exported to Asia also declined. A fall in the throughput of middle distillated products, particularly kerosene, was partially offset by a growth in the naphtha throughput.

LNG throughput increased by 16.5 percent mainly due to higher deliveries to the gas network, and development of LNG bunker facilities. The throughput of chemical products remained stable, while biofuels rose due to a rise in European demand for biodiesel. Vegetable and animal products also increased in volume. The throughput of remaining products from the other liquid bulk category declined, as a result, the volume for the category fell by 7.3 percent.

DRY BULK

Throughput of ores and scrap remained stable at over 31 million tonnes, although there was a slight shift in the tonnage, with scrap increasing and ore falling off slightly. Coal volume also fell by 9.5 percent because eight coal-fired plants — two in the Netherlands and six in Germany, were closed, and other power stations produced less. 

The throughput of coke for steel production declined slightly. The agribulk sector grew by 6.6 percent to 11.1 million tonnes. The amount of other dry and biomass goods tailed off slightly by 0.6 percent to 12.1 million tonnes. The increase in the throughput of biomass to Belgium was offset by a decline in other dry bulk. Overall, dry bulk throughput fell by 2.6 percent to 80.2 million tonnes.

RORO AND OTHER BREAK BULK

Roll on/Roll off benefited from the use of larger vessels, expansion of number of services, and growth in existing services. It resulted in surge by 6.2 percent. Other break bulk rose by 9.8 percent as a result of increased exports, output of monopiles for offshore wind projects, higher input of steel, and increase in aluminium throughputs.

FINANCIAL RESULTS 

The port booked a turnover of € 712.1 million in 2017, up by 4.6 percent compared to 2016. Its net profit amounted to € 187 million, witnessing a dip by 16.6 percent. It was because the port was subjected to corporation tax from January 1, 2017. Its investments rose by 18.9 percent to € 213.8 million, which is the highest since the construction of second Maasvlakte.

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