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Rotterdam Sees Traffic Rise, Expects Slow Year-End 

Rotterdam container traffic in the first three quarters of 2011 grew 7.7 percent year-over-year, but Europe’s biggest port warned growth will decline for the rest of the year because a weaker economy will pull down exports.

Hans Smits CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority said “over the whole year we still expect growth.” Container traffic grew to 9,032,052 20-foot equivalent units from 8,382,811 TEUs in the first nine months of 2010 to consolidate the Dutch port’s position as the top European box hub.

The port’s tonnage traffic grew 1.7 percent year-over-year to 327 million metric tons, largely because of 16.8 percent increase of agriculture bulk cargo to 7.2 million tons. Dry bulk traffic grew 1.1 percent to 65.6 million tons.

Crude oil shipments eased 4.5 percent to 70.6 million tons, and liquid bulk traffic, including mineral oils and liquefied natural gas, was 3.7 percent lower at 148.7 million tons. Roll on-roll off traffic grew 2.4 percent year-over-year to 13.22 million tons, while other general cargo soared 23.6 percent to 6.05 million tons.

Rotterdam handled a record 430 million tons of cargo in 2010 and hit a container traffic high of 11.1 million TEUs.

The Journal of Commerce Online

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