Coal shipments down with 34 % while iron ore and scrap fall 22%

The Port of Rotterdam lifted 218.9 million tonnes of cargo in the first half, down 9.1 per cent on a record throughput in the same period in 2019 hit by the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Particularly hit were dry bulk volumes which dropped 19 per cent to 30.8 million tonnes driven by a 22 per cent fall in throughput for iron ore and scrap and 34 per cent for coal.

‘The steel factories that use the port of Rotterdam for the supply of ore are producing much less than usual. Demand for steel fell sharply from March onwards as a result of production stoppages in the automotive industry and construction,’ said the port authority.

Port of Rottedam reports falling container volumes with 9%

Liquid bulk volumes dropped nine per cent to 99.8 million tonnes. The mineral oil products sector, mainly fuel oil, saw the largest drop of 22 per cent in the first half of year.

Container volumes were down seven per cent in TEU terms and three per cent in cargo volume terms in the first half of the year.

‘Shipping companies cancelled up to 20 per cent of all their services in May and June. The decline in throughput was nevertheless less pronounced due to the increased call sizes of vessels calling at Rotterdam,’ the port said.

Second quarter performance provide rebounding expectations

Meanwhile breakbulk fell 11 per cent in the first half year, and ro-ro throughput was 12 per cent lower, according to UK’s Seatrade Maritime News.

Said Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Allard Castelein: ‘The negative economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is being felt worldwide. It should therefore come as no surprise that throughput volumes in the past six months were considerably lower than in the same period last year. On the positive side, the throughput volumes in the second quarter turned out to be better than initially expected.’