Amsterdam Port Area shows strong growth in third quarter of 2008 (NL)

Remarkably, the Amsterdam Port Area (consisting of the Ports of Velsen, Beverwijk, Zaanstad and Amsterdam) has grown considerably In the first three quarters of 2008. The Amsterdam Port Area as a whole achieved a growth of 10%. In fact, the Port of Amsterdam did even better, scoring 12.2%. The buoyant performance of the port and logistics sector is welcome news for the regional economy.

Amsterdam Port Area
Between January and September 2008, the cargo throughput in the Amsterdam Port Area rose from 65.5 million metric tons to 72 million ton (an increase of 10%). In doing so, the Amsterdam Port Area increased its market share from 7.5 to 7.8% in northwestern Europe.

Port of Amsterdam
The cargo throughput in the Port of Amsterdam grew from 50.8 million metric tons to 57 million tons (an impressive 12.2%). Within the so-called Hamburg-Le Havre range of ports, the Port of Amsterdam is leading the field and is continuing its strong showing of the past few fears. Clearly, Amsterdam remains a highly attractive proposition for companies.

Imports have gone up by 8% to 38.3 million tons, while exports increased by 21.9% to 18.7 million tons.

The total transshipment of liquid bulk gained by 26.4% to 24.6 million tons. This can be attributed in particular to an increase in the transshipment of oil products (growth of 22.1% to 22.3 million tons). What lies behind this? Oiltanking, NuStar, BP and others have increased their storage capacity for oil products. The second contributing factor is increased export of gasoline (petrol) to the United States.

In the first 9 months of 2008, the total transshipment of dry bulk rose by a modest 0.9% to 27.1 million tons. The transshipment of coal dropped by 2.9% to 13.1 million tons. Among other factors, this can be put down to the large supplies of coal still available at the coal terminals; the smaller volume of coal coming in via the Port of IJmuiden using "lighters" (smaller ships used to "unburden" huge bulk carriers as they negotiate the canal lock there); as well as a number of ships whose cargo could not be unloaded at the facilities in Amsterdam, which were filled to capacity.

The transshipment of agribulk grew by 21.6% to 6.9 million tons. This was due to the greater throughput of grains, oilseeds and fertilizer.

Container transshipment increased by 15.8% to 2.9 million tons. Expressed in TEUs (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units), container transshipment rose by 18.4% from 273,330 to 323,680 TEUs.

Prognosis for the whole of 2008
The economic crisis is now also making itself felt in the Amsterdam Port Area. The biggest impact can be seen in Velsen, where the cargo throughput is declining sharply. For now, the Port of Amsterdam itself is only experiencing a slight drop in business. The Port of Amsterdam is expected to handle 71 million metric tons of cargo this year

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