TMS Awards 2023Port of South LouisianaVan AalstTBA GroupPort of StocktonGeneva Dry
  • TBA Group
  • Port of Stockton
  • Telestack
  • Geneva Dry
  • Van Aalst
  • TMS Awards 2023

Slight decline in Rotterdam overall throughput as bulk stays firm

Slight decline in Rotterdam overall throughput as bulk stays firm

(Posted on 28/04/23)

In the first quarter of 2023, 1.5% less freight passed through the port of Rotterdam than in the same period last year. In total, 111.7 million tonnes were handled compared with 113.4 million tonnes in the same period in 2022. The fall mainly concerned the throughput of containers and freight in the breakbulk segment (Roll-on/Roll-off and other general cargo). Throughput in the mineral oil products, crude oil, LNG, iron ore & scrap, agribulk and coal segments increased.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority: ‘As expected, the year 2023 started with a slight decline in throughput. Especially in the container segment, we faced a decline in volumes due to high inflation and a weakening economy. Results in the other segments mainly show growth and confirm that dependence on Russian energy flows has been further reduced in line with the sanctions. For the remainder of the year, we expect a limited decline in throughput volumes due to the uncertainties posed by the current geopolitical situation and high inflation.’

The dry bulk segment showed a slight growth of 0.2% to 17.9 million tonnes in the first quarter. In this segment, iron ore & scrap and coal are the main commodities. Both commodities showed an increase. Throughput of iron ore & scrap rose by 10.1% to 6.2 million tonnes. As a result of the temporary failure of blast furnaces in Dunkirk, Gijón and IJmuiden, factories in Rotterdam’s hinterland operated more intensively. This was also the cause for the increased demand for cokes for steel production. In the first quarter, the total coal throughput increased by 26.3% to 7.4 million tonnes.

In the first quarter, liquid bulk throughput increased by 5.6% to 54.3 million tonnes. Within this market segment, the supply of crude oil increased by 0.8 million tonnes (+3.2% to 26.3 million tonnes). As a replacement for Russian oil, more crude oil was supplied from the United States, West Africa and the Middle East. Since this oil is transported over longer distances, the use of Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) increased. In the first quarter, twice as many VLCCs (50) have already unloaded crude oil as last year. Port calls from Suezmax tankers also increased by 30%. Transhipment of mineral oil products increased by 1.6 million tonnes to 15.1 million tonnes (12%) in the first quarter. This increase was mainly due to the increase in the throughput of diesel at independent terminals and at the dolphins. This served mainly to replace imports of sanctioned Russian diesel. The throughput of LNG also increased by 14.3% to 3 million tonnes in the first quarter. This was due to the high European gas price and the fact that more spot cargo has been shipped. The growth in LNG supply comes mainly from the United States as an alternative to reduced European imports of Russian gas by pipeline.

Container throughput decreased 11.5% by weight to 31.5 million tonnes and 11.6% by volume to 3.2 million TEU (the standard unit for containers). This decline had already started during 2022 due to the elimination of volumes to and from Russia. As the war in Ukraine only began in late February, the impact on throughput volumes in the first quarter of last year was still limited. In the past, these volumes accounted for 8% of total container throughput. The decline in imports from Asia (-14.2% in TEUs) due to lower demand for physical goods due to accumulated stocks and inflation was also reflected in the throughput figures. Despite the strong improvement in chain performance, no transhipment has been recovered yet in the first quarter. These volumes moved to smaller ports due to congestion during the pandemic.

The total throughput in the breakbulk segment (Roll-on/Roll-off and other general cargo) decreased by 6.0% to 7.9 million tonnes. RoRo traffic decreased by 2.2% to 6.6 million tonnes compared with the first quarter of last year. This was due to lower demand from the UK due to a moderately performing economy. Throughput of other general cargo fell by 20.9% to 1.4 tonnes

Latest News

Port of Antwerp Bruges' quarterly figures reflect resilience

(Posted on 18/04/24)

The total cargo throughput of Port of Antwerp-Bruges amounted to 70.4 million tonnes in the first quarter... Read more


North Sea Port records Q1 cargo throughput decline

(Posted on 18/04/24)

Seaborne cargo transhipment at North Sea Port fell by 3.2% in the first quarter of this year compared... Read more


Green light for river access channel to HAROPA’s Port 2000

(Posted on 15/04/24)

The Administrative Court in Rouen, France has dismissed a summary motion seeking the suspension of application... Read more


Agreement to develop Al Faw Grand Port and Economic Zone in Iraq

(Posted on 15/04/24)

AD Ports Group, Abu Dhabi based facilitator of global trade, logistics and industry, has entered into... Read more


Rotterdam calls on EU to position ports smartly for future-proofing Europe

(Posted on 29/03/24)

The European Union faces the challenge of reconciling the transition to a sustainable economy with preserving... Read more


Study: ports not ready to handle onboard captured carbon dioxide

(Posted on 25/03/24)

A recent study commissioned by the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD), in collaboration... Read more


ABP pioneers grain-monitoring robot

(Posted on 18/03/24)

Spearheading innovation in agricultural storage and safety at work, Associated British Ports (ABP),... Read more


Bilbao hosts intra-European green hydrogen corridor discussions

(Posted on 15/03/24)

The Port of Bilbao has hosted a meeting organised by the business agency of the Netherlands, with representatives... Read more


Collaboration to reduce port emissions across North America

(Posted on 10/03/24)

Technology group Wärtsilä has entered into a collaboration agreement with Seattle, USA based... Read more


Germany's first centre for remote-controlled inland navigation opened

(Posted on 29/02/24)

SEAFAR, the Belgian tech and service provider specializing in remote-controlled and crew-reduced inland... Read more


CimbriaTelestackBühler GmbHViganSailors Society
  • Bühler GmbH
  • Sailors Society

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping