October 15 - Although the amount of cargo handled at the Port of Rotterdam increased by 5.4 percent year-on-year in the first nine months of 2015, the Dutch gateway posted a 7.6 percent decrease in breakbulk volumes.

However, roll on/roll off (ro-ro) traffic across the North Sea increased by 11.4 percent year-on-year; with combined breakbulk and ro-ro volumes showing a 6.9 percent increase compared with the first nine months of 2014.

Port of Rotterdam Authority ceo Allard Castelein attributed the overall growth in cargo volumes to the increase in the handling of crude oil and oil products.

"Most other types of goods were handled in similar quantities as last year. Since oil represents about half of the throughput, the port achieved a good growth rate," he went on.

"Dry bulk is usually a fairly stable industry, but currently the handling of iron ore and agri bulk is lagging behind somewhat. In the container sector, growth opportunities are currently still limited because the new terminals are not yet operating at full speed."

In total, dry bulk volumes were down 3.1 percent year-on-year, with ore and scrap metal handling falling by 2 percent.