North Europe’s import volume is projected to fall by 8.9 percent to 12.2 million 20-foot-equivalent units in 2013, despite a 3.9 percent increase in Europe’s overall import volume, according to the North Europe Global Port Tracker, released by Hackett Associates and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics.
Furthermore, the report predicts that exports from North Europe — which includes the ports of Hamburg and Bremen/Bremerhaven, Germany; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Antwerp and Zeebrugge, Belgium; and Le Havre, France — will decrease by 2.3 percent to 10.59 million TEUs, in spite of an expected 4.1 percent gain for Europe as a whole.
In May, imports into Europe totaled 1.83 million TEUs, and of that total, 956,000 TEUs were imported into North Europe. Compared with the previous month, imports into North Europe in May inched up 0.7 percent, but compared with May 2012, imports plummeted 17.3 percent. Year-to-date, total imports were 0.9 percent lower than in 2012, with a 17.6 percent drop in North Europe.
The ports of Hamburg, Antwerp and Zeebrugge all posted modest month-to-month increases in May in incoming volumes. Zeebrugge, however, experienced a double-digit drop in import volume year-over-year, while Hamburg and Antwerp experienced moderate increases. Import volume grew fastest at LeHavre year-over-year, up 12.5 percent versus May 2012.
Exports in May from North Europe fell by 4.2 percent month-over-month and 6.2 percent year-over-year. Year-to-date, exports from North Europe fell by 6.5 percent compared with the same period last year.
Zeebrugge experienced a double-digit year-over-year decline in exports as well. Hamburg and Antwerp again saw moderate monthly and year-over-year volume growth, and exports through LeHavre rose 12.5 percent year-over-year, too.