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            december 10, 2019

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Rotterdam port handles record 240m tonnes of cargo


The Port of Rotterdam handled a record 240 million tonnes of cargo in the first half of the year on the back of all-time high container volumes that rose six per cent when calculated by TEU. Total TEU rose faster than total cargo tonnage due to a large number of empties handled.
The rise in box throughput was attributed to an increase in import and transshipment volumes within the European market. Containerised cargo from Asian exporters rose, an indicator of strong consumer demand within Europe, reported The Maritime Executive, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The increase in total cargo volume helped push up the first-half operating result by seven per cent year on year to US$155 million.
Energy shipping was also up - especially LNG, which doubled compared to the same period last year thanks to rising exports of competitively-priced American natural gas to Europe. Crude oil imports from the US also rose markedly, due to a discount on American oil relative to Brent, the port said.
The port's ro/ro traffic has been significantly affected by Britain's Brexit preparations. In the first quarter, shippers made preparations for the expected March deadline for Brexit, leading to stockpiling and a rapid increase in ro/ro trade with UK ports. When a "hard" Brexit did not materialise as anticipated, shippers drew down their stockpiles, leading to a decline in ro/ro throughput.
"In the macroeconomic field, relations between the world's major trading blocs remain strained," CEO Allard Castelein was quoted as saying: "There is also ongoing uncertainty about the introduction of trade tariffs post-Brexit. Both developments are rendering the prospects for the further growth of world trade uncertain. Given the global uncertainties. The port of Rotterdam Authority expects a slight weakening of the growth in cargo throughput in the second half of 2019."

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