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Home Port News Port of Rotterdam sees modest drop in TEU volumes during first quarter

Port of Rotterdam sees modest drop in TEU volumes during first quarter

The Port of Rotterdam has announced a slight container volume decrease of 1.4% to 3.6 million TEU in the first quarter of the year.

However, in terms of tonnes, the fall was larger as the significantly decreased transshipment volumes, which dropped by 21.5% to 6 million tonnes, led to an overall lower box throughput of 35.6 million tonnes, which represents a 5.4% fall.

"The average container weight was lower, and more empty containers were transported," pointed out the major European port.

Transshipment volumes have been decreasing gradually since July 2021, in consequence of the enormous amount of activity at the deep-sea terminals due to the high number of disruptions in the logistics chain, according to the port of Rotterdam.

"In March, the impact of the war in Ukraine was reflected in falling volumes to Russia. Most shipping companies introduced a booking stop for Russian container cargo, and most deep-sea terminals do not accept any export cargo from Russia any longer. This will affect transshipment volumes to Russia even further," explains the port.

On the other hand, in the first quarter, the consequences of the Covid lockdowns in Shanghai were not yet noticeable in Rotterdam.

Furthermore, the overall freight throughput in the Port of Rotterdam decreased by 1.5% in the first three months of 2022, compared with the same period in 2021, reaching 113.6 million tonnes.

"Although we started the year exceptionally well, the world was hit by the war in Ukraine in late February. Besides the fact that this conflict is a terrible humanitarian disaster, it led to serious uncertainty in world trade and changes in logistical parameters," said Allard Castelein, CEO of Port of Rotterdam Authority.

In the port of Rotterdam last year, 62 million tonnes of almost 470 million tonnes of throughput was Russia-oriented (13%).

As the war in Ukraine only began in late February, the impact on throughput volumes in the first quarter was still limited. Meanwhile, the impact of the sanctions and of the decisions of individual companies not to do any business with Russia any longer, has become noticeable in almost all sectors.

Castelein noted, "Although no one can predict how this will unfold, we expect that the developments in Ukraine and the seriously deteriorated relationship between Russia and many other countries will impact throughput volumes for the rest of the year as well."

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