Amsterdam Total Volume Grows, Container Traffic Drops

Amsterdam Total Volume Grows, Container Traffic Drops

The port of Amsterdam boosted total cargo traffic by 3 percent in 2011 from a year ago but container volume plummeted 28 percent, as the Dutch port struggled to attract ocean carriers away from rivals Le Havre and Hamburg.

The rise in cargo throughput to 74.8 million metric maintains Amsterdam’s ranking as Europe’s fourth largest port after Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg. But Amsterdam has virtually ceased to be a mainline container port as traffic tumbled to just over 600,000 metric tons from 800,000 tons in 2010, which was less than half the 1.9 million tons handled in 2009.

The port, which lost its last major scheduled container service in late 2009, did not say how many 20-foot equivalent units it handled in 2011. The 3 percent increase in Amsterdam’s total traffic outpaced growth of just 0.8 percent in Rotterdam, but its giant Dutch rival boosted box traffic by 6 percent to a record 11.9 million TEUs in 2011.

Coal and oil were Amsterdam’s top performing cargoes, both growing by 9 percent to 15.5 million tons and 37.1 million tons, respectively. This outweighed a 12 percent drop in agriculture bulk traffic to around 8 million tons. Roll-on, roll-off and car shipments also increased by 9 percent to 900,000 tons.

Total traffic in Amsterdam and its satellite ports in the North Sea canal grew by around 3 percent to 92 million tons.

-- Contact Bruce Barnard at