In the fourth quarter of last year, 132 million tons of goods were shipped to and from Dutch seaports, 6.5 percent down on the previous quarter. The downturn is more substantial than the 3.2 percent downturn in the fourth quarter of 2001 as a result of the 9-11 attacks in the US. If the entire year 2008 is taken into account, sea carriage still grew relative to 2007.
Growth over the entire year 2008
In the third quarter of 2008, sea carriage already slumped 2.5 percent. Due to the favourable economic climate in the first six months of 2008, however, sea transport of goods still grew, if the entire year 2008 is taken into account. Altogether, 560 million tons of goods were shipped to and from Dutch seaports, an increase by 4.4 percent relative to 2007.
Goods shipped to and from Dutch seaports
Fewer goods transhipped in port of Rotterdam
The Rotterdam port is by far the largest and most important port in the Netherlands, accounting for three quarters of total sea carriage. The port of Rotterdam suffered severely from the recession in the last months of 2008. In the fourth quarter, transhipment of goods dropped by 7.3 percent to 97 million tons.
Dramatic decline goods shipped to and from Europe and America
The decline in the fourth quarter is almost entirely attributable to sea carriage to and from Europe (-8.3 percent) and America (- 8.1 percent). Goods carriage to and from Asia decreased marginally by 1.7 percent.
Goods shipped to and from Dutch seaports by continent of destination