Container throughput at the Port of Rotterdam increased by 6.2% in the first half of 2018 as the facility recorded growth for the fifth consecutive half-year.
Rotterdam handled 7.1m teu between January and June, and established a new record in May with a throughput of 1.24m teu.
The performance of the port’s three short sea lanes were mixed, and June’s volume was below last year’s level for the first time this year. Trade with England and Ireland fell, while there was a strong growth on routes to Iberia and the Mediterranean, followed by a sudden decline in June.
In the first quarter of the year, Rotterdam’s market share in the Hamburg-Le Havre range increased slightly from 30.9% to 31.2%.
In its half year statement, the port warned that tariffs and trade quotas interfere with global trade and negatively affect the global economy.
It said: “Relations between large trading blocs in the world are currently strained. In addition, it is uncertain whether negotiations between the European Union and the United Kingdom will lead to a new trade agreement after Brexit.
“Both developments are rendering the prospects for the further growth of world trade uncertain.”
The port said recent trade restrictions were not to blame for fluctuations in volume – Rotterdam’s total tonnage across all cargo types was down 2.2% – but said the impact would be felt after some time.
The facility is continuing to target a reduction in carbon emissions and is working towards the goals set out in the Climate Act, which was recently passed by the lower house of the Dutch parliament.
In order to fulfill the Act’s ambitions, measures have been identified at the Rotterdam-Moerdijk Industrial Table, which the port sits on, that could result in a carbon emission reduction of 10m tonnes.