Throughput at the Port of Rotterdam grew 1.7 percent in 2012, to 442 million metric tons, as growth in liquid bulk commodities outweighed a drop in steel-related dry bulk cargoes.
Container volume was flat at 11.9 million 20-foot-equivalent units, although overall tonnage of containerized cargo edged up 2 percent to 126 million metric tons, as economic weakness in Europe favored heavier exports over lighter imports. The port saw a drop in feeder cargo, but an increase in short-sea containers.
Roll-on, roll-off cargo increased 3 percent, but other general cargo dropped 23 percent, primarily because of a significant decline in steel imports. Overall, breakbulk throughput was down 5 percent to a total of 24 million metric tons.
“Although the growth is limited, it is another record for Rotterdam,” Hans Smits, president and CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said in a written statement. Looking ahead, Smits projected 2 percent growth for the port in 2013, with throughput approaching 450 million metric tons.