February 13 - Throughput of freight in Rotterdam fell in 2016 by 1.1 percent to 461.2 million tonnes while the turnover of the Port of Rotterdam Authority remained stable at EUR675.4 million (USD718 million).

Allard Castelein, ceo, Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: "After exceptional 4.9 percent growth in 2015, we have to be content that most sectors have been able to equal or even slightly exceed these volumes in 2016."

He continued: "The Rotterdam port and industrial complex is facing huge challenges, in particular digitisation and energy transition as well as stiff competition from surrounding ports. Divergent trends provide reassurance that the complex can handle these challenges, such as the major investments in various refineries, a number of projects that should shape energy transition and the new container line sailing schedules that are favourable to Rotterdam."

According to the Port Authority, as a result of costs being under control, there has been a healthy profit growth. Profit increased by 5.0 percent to EUR222.2 million (USD236 million).

Paul Smits, cfo, Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: "With turnover remaining virtually the same and increased profit thanks to good cost management, 2016 was, from a financial viewpoint, a healthy and stable year. Investments rose by 16 percent and they are at least expected to be comparable to 2016 levels over the next few years."

The Port Authority claims that two of the most important sources of income are the lease of sites and the sea port dues ships pay when they visit the port.

The income from the lease of sites rose by EUR8 million (USD8.5 million), an increase of 2.4 percent, to EUR348 million (USD370 million).

Port dues fell by 2.3 percent to EUR309 million (USD329 million) because of the decrease in throughput by 1.1 percent, a decrease in the average price per tonne and a rise in discounts.