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Port of Rotterdam 2023 cargo volume declines by 6.1%


Europe’s biggest port, Rotterdam, today reported a 6.1% decrease in its total cargo in 2023, handling 438.8 million tonnes compared to 467.4 million tonnes in 2022. The port attributed global geopolitical unrest, sluggish economic growth, and high inflation to the overall decline.

While coal, containers, and other dry bulk recorded decreases, there was an uptick in agribulk, iron ore & scrap, and LNG segments.

However, the Port of Rotterdam Authority maintained stable financial results, thus consolidating future investments in sustainable transition.

Containerized cargo was 6.8% lower in 2023, dropping to 130.1 million tonnes. In terms of twenty-foot containers, throughput fell 7.0% to 13.4 million TEUs. These numbers were attributed to lower consumption, lower production in Europe, and the halt of traffic to and from Russia as a result of sanctions.

In dry bulk, 2023 saw an 11.8% fall compared to 2022. But agribulk surged by 50%  in maize imports due to crop failures from drought and floods in Europe.

Sustainability was a key theme in 2023. Decisions were made to invest in Porthos, a CO2 transport and storage project, and the construction of a national hydrogen network was initiated. Additionally, new shore power connections were put in place, and land reclamation for Princess Alexiahaven was started.

The container segment also saw significant developments, with investment decisions made for the expansion of container terminals by APMT and RWG, the official opening of the Container Exchange Route (CER), and Nextlogic becoming operational. The widening of the Yangtzekanaal has also begun.

 (Port of Rotterdam photo)