container stack

Transshipment Dutch ports down 10 per cent

Transshipment of goods in Dutch seaports fell by almost 10 per cent in the first 6 months of 2020, compared with the same period a year earlier. Total transshipment amounted to 281 million tonnes. This was reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

In the first two quarters of 2019, 311 million tonnes were transshipped. Import of goods fell more sharply (-12 per cent) than export (-5 per cent) and the decrease was sharper for bulk goods, such as oil and coal, than for goods transported in containers.

Transshipment of the first six months of 2020 compared to the half-year numbers of 2019 and 2018. % change from one year previously. Light blue: import / Dark blue: export / Green: total (by CBS).

The Covid-19 pandemic seems to impact dry bulk (19 per cent of total transshipment) in particular, while throughput of containers fell only slightly (-1.3 per cent). Dry bulk fell by 22 per cent compared to 2019, with coal dropping by as much as 36 per cent (24.6 million tonnes in 2019 to 15.7 million tonnes this year).

Transshipment of ores also fell considerably, from 17.7 million tonnes in the first half of 2019 to 15.5 million tonnes in the first half of this year (more than 12 per cent).

Liquid bulk

Transshipment of liquid bulk, which accounts for almost half of all transhipment, fell by 10.2 per cent. This drop was most marked for the various oil products and crude oil. As a result of the corona crisis, demand for fuels for vehicles in particular fell significantly.

In the case of goods transported in containers there was only a 1.3 per cent drop. Transshipments of RoRo cargo, fell by 16 per cent.

As the graph above shows, the decline was not exclusively due to the corona-pandemic. The decline already started in the second half of 2019.

Transshipment seaports first half 2020; from top to bottom: dry bulk, RoRo, Liquid bulk and containers.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.