The impact of the economic downturn is reflected in first-half trading figures for Rotterdam port, where throughput fell for the first time in three years.
Total throughput reached 220 million tonnes, down 1% compared with the first half of 2012. However, the port authority expects the second half to be about the same as 2012. Rotterdam is one of the biggest ports in the world and the largest in Europe.
In particular, the port handled 9% less crude oil. Crude oil traditionally accounts for some 25% of transshipments. But coal throughput rose 13% due to the demand for cheap coal to make electricity.
The port also handled 2% fewer containers, losing out to Hamburg which has been successful in winning Baltic trade, news agency ANP said.
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