Sector development

As anticipated by the market research institute Drewry, growth in global container throughput weakened markedly in the first half of 2019. Although throughput growth of 2.0 % in the first quarter – measured by container throughput in ports around the world – was better than experts had predicted in March, the figure was well below both the same quarter last year and throughput volume in 2018. However, Drewry expects that this will be the worst quarter for 2019 and forecasts a 3.0 % increase in global container throughput for the second quarter.

Development of container throughput by region

in %


Q2 | 19


Q1 | 19

Source: Drewry Maritime Research, July 2019






Europe as a whole





North-West Europe





Scandinavia and the Baltic region





Western Mediterranean





Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea




- 3.1

By contrast, the Europe shipping region has significantly benefited from the ongoing trade dispute between the USA and China. After forecasting in March 2019 that volumes at the European ports would fall by 2.2 % in the first quarter, Drewry‘s experts now anticipate a slight increase for the first three months of 2019. This upward trend is likely to become even firmer in the second quarter. The shipping regions of North-West Europe and Scandinavia and the Baltic region performed much better in the first quarter than recent forecasts had predicted. In the second quarter, growth slowed slightly but still remained at a stable level.

Container throughput in Rotterdam of 7.5 million TEU in the reporting period was 6.4 % up on the first half of 2018. In Antwerp, 5.8 million TEU passed over the quayside in the first six months of the year, resulting in throughput growth of 4.9 %. 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 2.1 million TEU – down 7.7 % on the previous year. The JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven reported throughput of 205 TTEU for the first quarter of 2019, an increase of 28.6 % in volume handled as compared with the same period last year. Throughput at HHLA’s Hamburg container terminals amounted to 3.5 million TEU in the first six months, corresponding to a slight increase of 0.1 %.