The port of Amsterdam boosted cargo traffic by 7 percent in the first quarter from a year ago compared with double digit declines at its giant neighbors Rotterdam and Antwerp.
Container traffic fell, however, by 17.5 percent and faces further decline through 2009 following the termination of two deep-sea services.
Total cargo rose to 19.3 million tonnes in the three months to March 31 from 18 million tonnes in the year-earlier period, driven mainly by a 30 percent surge in liquid bulk transshipment to 9.7 million tonnes.
Dry bulk volumes, by contrast, fell 7.1 percent to 8.3 million tonnes on lower shipments of agricultural products, grains, oil seeds and fertilizers.
The 17.5 percent drop in container traffic to 82,723 TEUs was caused by lower Asian imports and mirrored similar declines at Rotterdam and Antwerp.
Container traffic is set to decline significantly in the second quarter as the Grand Alliance's EU2 Europe-Asia loop will stop calls at Amsterdam Container Terminals in mid-May. In February, the Alliance carriers -- Hapag-Lloyd, NYK, Orient Overseas Container Line and Malaysia's MISC -- dropped Amsterdam from the EU5 loop after less than a year. Both services have been transferred to Rotterdam.
Amsterdam boosted box traffic last year by 10.2 percent from 2007 to 385,603 TEUs, again outpacing Antwerp and Rotterdam, but the loss of the two Grand Alliance services is expected to more than halve volume this year.
The port authority expects overall cargo volume in 2009 to equal last year's 90.9 million tonnes.
Contact Bruce Barnard at email@example.com .