Barges boosted their share of container transport to and from Rotterdam’s hinterland last year while rail lost three years of growth.
Inland shipping’s share of the modal split at Europe’s biggest box port rose to 33 percent from 30 percent and rail slipped from 13 percent to 11 percent, its level in 2006, according to figures from the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Trucking marginally increased its share to 57 percent from 56 percent, retaining its leading position in the face of efforts by the port authority and government regulators to shift more traffic to rival transport modes.
The total volume of hinterland traffic shrunk 12 percent last year to 6.87 million 20-foot equivalent units from 7.82 million TEUs in 2008.
Barge traffic declined just 3 percent to 2.7 million TEUs from 2.34 million TEUs as inland shipping companies took advantage of improved handling capacity at deep sea container terminals.
Rail container volume collapsed by 25 percent to 755,000 TEUs from just over 1 million TEUs in 2008 because it “did not want to adapt or could not adapt its tariffs fast enough to the declining total volume,” the Port Authority said.
Trucking traffic dropped 14 percent to 3.85 million TEUs from 4.48 million TEUs, a relatively steep decline that reflects its dominant position in the transport of roll-on, roll-off containers on intra-European trades, which were hardest hit by the economic downturn.
The port is aiming to boost inland shipping’s market share to 45 percent when the new 8.5 million-TEUs-a-year Maasvlakte 2 container hub comes on stream.
It is targeting a 20 percent market share for rail and wants to cut trucking to 35 percent.
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