Feature, Freight News, Sea

Rotterdam first past the 15 million teu mark

[ December 23, 2021   //   ]

The transhipment of containers went through a dip due to the Covid-19 outbreak but, from autumn 2020 onwards, Rotterdam has seen a rapid recovery with 7.8% growth in the first nine months of 2021 on the back of a surge in consumer spending is booming and a recovering economy, with volumes higher than they were in 2019. But the strong demand, together with the various disruptions such as the Ever Given. Suez block age and outbreaks of coronavirus in Chinese ports means pressure on the logistics chain remains high.

Transhipment grew faster than tonnage due partly to the increase in the number of empty containers but mainly a sharp decline in the average weight of full containers. Freight rates have risen sharply over the past few quarters so the transport of relatively heavy, low-value freight has decreased. This effect was most noticeable with export containers but it could also be seen in imports.

Commercial director Emile Hoogsteden said: “In 2022 we expect the extreme congestion at the Rotterdam container terminals to continue for the time being. This is because the international container ship fleet and terminal capacity are not growing at a rate commensurate with demand.”

He added that the port authority would continue to encourage digitisation, cooperation and data sharing to provide a better response to the global pressure on the logistics chain.

(Picture: Jerry Lampen)