Western Europe’s two largest ports are experiencing declines in their container cargo, with loss of Russia business figuring prominently as a contributing factor.
The Port of Rotterdam said today (Friday) it handled 10.9 million TEU during the first nine months of 2022, representing a decline of 4.4 percent from a year ago.
Similarly, Antwerp-Bruges, saw its nine-month container throughput drop by 5 percent at 10.2 million TEU due to a series of factors such as congestion, the war in Ukraine, while rising inflation diminished North European demand.
“As a consequence of the sanctions, container traffic between Russia and Rotterdam has almost come to a standstill,” The Rotterdam Port Authority said. “In the past few years, about 8% of container traffic was related to Russia. The difference between tonnes (-8.6%) and TEUs (-4.4%) is because proportionally more empty containers found their way via Rotterdam. Although container logistics is still hampered by disruptions as many vessels do not arrive on schedule and due to the high-capacity usage of the terminals, the volume decrease does lead to logistic problems gradually becoming smaller. Also, the container freight rates have dropped significantly.” (Photo: Port of Rotterdam)