January 19 - Cargo throughput during 2014 at the port of Rotterdam increased by 1 percent year-on-year over 2013 levels, with breakbulk and containerised freight growth offsetting a slump in oil products.

In total, 445 million tonnes of cargo was handled at the Netherlands' largest port. Breakbulk cargo throughput, including ro-ro traffic and other mixed cargoes, grew by 12.1 percent year-on-year to 26 million tonnes.

Ro-ro traffic was up by 8.1 percent, thanks largely to the improvement in the British economy. Mixed cargo, steel, non-ferrous metals and project cargo did particularly well, said the Port of Rotterdam Authority. Other mixed cargo, which has been in decline for a number of years as more and more cargo disappeared into containers, did exceptionally well with 28.1 percent growth. 

Meanwhile, containerised cargo throughput rose 5.8 percent when compared to 2013 volumes. Oil products volumes fell by 8.1 percent, while dry bulk volumes slipped by 0.7 percent. However, an extra 4.8 percent of crude oil passed through the port. 

Allard Castelein, Port of Rotterdam Authority chief executive officer commented: "In 2015 we expect the same growth in throughput as last year: 1 percent. This year too, the main growth is expected in the container sector. In the coming years, we will nurture the large, existing sectors in the port, whilst also focusing strongly on innovation and broadening the range of activities in the port. We need both for a healthy future."