Although the volume of containers passing through the Port of Rotterdam dropped by 10 percent in 2009, the share of container volume transshipped through the port rose to 30 percent from 28 percent in 2008, the Rotterdam Port Authority said Wednesday.
Because total container throughput declined to 9.7 million 20-foot equivalent container units, the volume of container transshipment also dropped 2 percent to 2.9 million TEUs.
The port authority said the rise in the share of transshipped containers corresponds with the rise in the number of feeder services in 2009. The growth parallels similar growth in short sea barge traffic.
Specialized feeder services, such as Unifeeder and Team Lines, expanded their Rotterdam volumes considerably as they started more feeder services to and from the Baltic.
The port authority said overall container volume being transshipped in 2009 moved southward away from Hamburg, but almost 140,000 TEUs of transshipment volume moved from Rotterdam to Felixstowe, Zeebrugge and Bremerhaven. It said the feeder business is and will continue to be fluid.
The port defines container transshipment as the exchange of containers between large sea-going vessels of up to 15,000 TEUs on intercontinental routes and smaller sea-going vessels of up to 1,000 TEUs (although some shipping lines deploy larger units) on European routes. It does not include intra-European containers shipped via short-sea services as part of transshipment volumes. Such barges boosted their box market share at the port last year.
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