The throughput of ocean-going goods in Dutch seaports eased off by 1% in 2016, its first decline since the 2009 crisis and following a record set in 2015.
Nevertheless nearly 600 million tonnes of goods was moved through Dutch ports last year, the national statistics office CBS reported on Thursday.
The agency said imports fell by 2% to 398 million tonnes, while exports were 1.5% higher at 190 million tonnes. The CBS said its figures were based on the most recent transhipment data obtained from the seaports and other authorities.
Dry bulk cargoes (coal, iron ore) fell back by 2% due to the closure of several coal-powered electricity plants. Nearly half of all goods moving through the ports last year was liquid bulk (petroleum and chemicals) which declined 2%. Container throughput was nearly 3.6% higher.
Nearly all the container traffic was moved through Rotterdam, Europe’s largest container port. Throughput was flat in the first nine months before surging ahead by 10% in the final quarter. Figures from Rotterdam port authority suggest this trend is continuing with a 9% gain year-on-year in the first three months of 2017.
Nearly half of all containers arriving in Rotterdam are inbound from Asia, with 6.5% growth in 2017. And 33% come from other European ports, the CBS said.