Rotterdam has cut port dues for 2013 2 percent from 2012 rates, the fourth successive annual discount that has pushed next year’s tariffs below the 2008 level as it seeks to defend its leading market share in the fiercely competitive Le Havre-Hamburg port range.
Europe’s largest container port is also maintaining existing discounts and will not pass on inflation increases to shipowners.
This will result in 2013 dues being 8.6 percent below what they would have been if they had been adjusted for inflation and there were no discounts in recent years, the port authority said.
Shipowners will pay around 30 million euros ($39 million) less in dues in 2013, the agency said.
“Although throughput is rising slightly, a lot of companies are having a tough time. We hope this massive discount will help our clients and bind cargo to Rotterdam,” said Hans Smits, CEO of the port authority.
The port received $378 million in seaport dues and $19.5 million in inland shipping port tariffs in 2011. It also generated $347 million of revenue from rents and long-term leases on harbour properties.
Rotterdam is also spending $6.5 million of port dues in 2013-14 to support initiatives by the business sector to make the port more sustainable.
Rotterdam’s total cargo throughput increased by 1.7 percent in the first three quarters of 2012 from a year ago to 332.6 million metric tons, but container traffic dipped 1.1 percent to 8.94 million 20-foot-equivalent units.