The Dutch port of Amsterdam saw its cargo volume rise by 3 per cent in 2011 to 74.8 million tons compared to the previous year. However, container throughput plunged by 28 per cent owing to stiffer competition from rival ports, Le Havre and Hamburg, according to the Shipping Gazette.
A report by The Journal of Commerce Online said Amsterdam was ranked the fourth largest European port after Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg. "But Amsterdam has virtually ceased to be a mainline container port as traffic tumbled to just over 600,000 metric tons from 800,000 tons in 2010, which was less than half the 1.9 million tons handled in 2009," it said.
It noted that Amsterdam port authorities would not give the figures for the exact number of containers handled over the whole of last year.
Over at Rotterdam port cargo volume rose by 0.8 per cent and its box traffic was up by six per cent to a record 11.9 million TEU in 2011.
Coal and oil were Amsterdam's top performing cargoes, with both increasing by nine per cent to 15.5 million tons and 37.1 million tons, respectively, for the whole of last year.
Total traffic in Amsterdam and its satellite ports in the North Sea canal rose by three per cent in 2011 to 92 million tons, the report added.