Port of Rotterdam has announced their half-year results saying that COVID-19 pandemic depressed cargo throughput.

The port achieved a throughput of 218.9 million tonnes in the first six months of 2020, 9.1% less than in the first half of 2019. Despite the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, production and logistics, the port of Rotterdam remained 100% operational. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is the primary reason for the decrease in volume.

Breakbulk fell by 11% in the first half of the year. RoRo throughput was 12% lower. Most of the drop was at the beginning of the second quarter, when the lockdown was in place in most of Western Europe. Volumes increased again towards the end of the quarter.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority: “The Dutch economy and the port of Rotterdam are dependent on developments in world trade. 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.


According to the port, there is considerable uncertainty about how long the recession will last and when recovery will begin. The recovery of the world economy depends very much on whether there will be a second wave of virus infections. And another factor is whether the EU and the UK will manage to conclude a post-Brexit trade agreement in the coming months. A cautious recovery of the economy is expected in the rest of the year. As a result, volumes in the port will not decline further but there will probably be no full recovery of volumes. The total throughput volume for the whole of 2020 is therefore currently expected to be significantly lower than in 2019.

Download the full report here.

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