Interview: The Future of Breakbulk

Last year the Port of Rotterdam saw an increase in volume of 15%, reaching a new record of 6.9 million tonnes of breakbulk throughput and surpassing its record breaking year in 2019 (6.6 million tonnes). That means that the breakbulk market recovered completely from the economic slowdown that was caused by COVID-19 in the year 2020. New cargo volumes were loaded and discharged at the port. This was enforced, amongst others, by the high container rates as material that was normally transported by container was now shipped by breakbulk carrier.

According to Director Breakbulk at Port of Rotterdam Danny Levenswaard, it is difficult to predict what this year has in store for the port as the current market situation is heavily influenced by multiple external factors. “We do believe that overall, we can maintain a steady breakbulk volume over the year 2022”, he says. “As long as the rates for containers remain high, the chance that steel, non-ferrous and forest products will be shipped by breakbulk will be more likely, making a positive impact on the port’s breakbulk volume. But we have to take the conflict Russia/Ukraine into consideration as well. And this war can have a negative impact on the overall economic situation. Sanctions are being implemented which will restrict cargo to be shipped. As Russia accounts for roughly 15% of the total volume being shipped through Rotterdam (including breakbulk), it can have serious consequences for us.”

Read more here.


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