The total volume of hinterland transport declined 12% from 7.8m teu in 2008 to 6.8m teu last year. Comparative figures show that 755,000 teu were transported by rail, a decline of 25% compared to 2008, with barges seeing a 3% decline to 2.2m teu (2.3m teu in 2008). Truck volume dropped 14% from 4.4m to 3.8m teu.
Part of the decline in rail transport was as a result of the failure to adapt its tariffs fast enough in the face of declining total volumes. The Betuwe Route tariffs for example were lowered only late in 2009.
In contrast, inland shipping and road transport were more flexible in the face of capacity oversupply, besides which, inland shipping took advantage of the improved handling capacity at Rotterdam’s deep sea terminals. However, road transport suffered as a result of intra-European ro/ro traffic being hardest hit by the economic downturn.