Sector Development

Global container throughput maintained its strong growth of the previous year in the first half of 2018. Container throughput at global ports grew by 6.1 % year-on-year in the first quarter – significantly higher than the already optimistic 4.6 % increase forecast by the market research institute Drewry in April. Following a readjustment of their forecast models, the experts now anticipate a further acceleration in growth to 6.5 % for the second quarter.

Although the latest estimates for the container throughput at the Chinese ports indicate strong growth of 5.3 % in the first quarter, this was still slightly below the forecasts issued at the beginning of the year. For the second quarter, the experts expect a further reduction in the growth rate to 4.8 %. Following modest growth of 3.3 % in the first quarter, Drewry now anticipates a significant upturn for the North-West Europe trade in the second quarter: following readjustment of its forecast models, the company now projects growth of 6.1 %. With growth of 14.3 % in the first quarter of 2018 and of 12.9 % in the second quarter, container throughput in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea was also more than twice as strong as forecast in April. The increase in container throughput was particularly strong at Russia’s Baltic Sea ports.

Container throughput in Rotterdam of 7.1 million TEU in the reporting period was 6.2 % up on the first half of 2017. In Antwerp, 5.6 million TEU passed over the quayside in the first six months of the year, resulting in throughput growth of 8.3 %.

At the time of reporting, no half-year data was available for the German ports along the North Range. In the first five months of the year, throughput at the Bremen ports amounted to 2.2 million TEU – down 0.4 % on the previous year. Wilhelmshaven posted 252 thousand TEU for the same period, thus raising container throughput volume by 56.9 % year-on-year.

Container throughput at HHLA’s Hamburg container terminals was raised by 0.9 % to 3.5 million TEU in the first six months.