In 2008, Rotterdam was Austria"s most important seaport for the tenth consecutive time, with a throughput of 4.8 million tonnes.
In 2008, Rotterdam was Austria"s most important seaport for the tenth consecutive time, with a throughput of 4.8 million tonnes. This was 6% less than the previous year and represented a market share of almost 27% (*) This was revealed in the "Seehafenbilanz" for 2008, which the Austrian trade magazine for the logistics sector "Verkehr" draws up every year. The port of Koper (Slovenia) remained second, with 4.3 million tonnes. Almost 4 million tonnes of cargo, 5% less than in 2007, were shipped eastwards from Rotterdam. Austrian exports via Rotterdam were 10% down, to nearly 1 million tonnes.
Zauner, Franz-Anton photoExpectations exceeded
Franz Zauner, the Rotterdam Representative for Austria and Slovakia, : ?We are very pleased with the 2008 results. Actually things went better than expected, considering the economic blow in the last quarter of the year. The decrease in the imports and exports of containers for example was just 2%?. Other goods performing less were agricultural bulk, bio mass and automotive products. Imports of mass goods for the largest customer Voestalpine however, developed unexpectedly well. Ore and metals continue to make up the lion"s share of imports via Rotterdam. The ores are destined for the Voestalpine blast furnaces in Linz.
Containers down and up
Container traffic was down, incoming and outgoing, by 2%, to 110,750 TEU. Zauner estimates the total Austrian container volume at 450,000 TEU. Rotterdam has therefore managed to keep its market share of 25%. Some 80% of the containers was transported by train, in 2008 via 20 weekly shuttle trains. In 2009, the number declined to 16-17 trains per week. This Autumn, new shuttles will be added again. As far as the future is concerned, Zauner sees opportunities for growth particularly in rail shuttles to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, steel and project cargo.
A new activity will be the supply of LNG to the Austrian joint venture EconGas (Begas, EVN, Linz AG, OMV Gas&Power, OÖ Ferngas AG, Wien Energie). This combination acquired a 5% stake in the Gate-terminal now under construction at Maasvlakte. EconGas plans to bring up to 3 billion cubic meters into the grid via Gate. The gas will be sold to customers in Austria, Germany, Italy and Hungary. Expansion to other Central European countries is likely.
Northern Ports and Southern Ports
After increasing their share in 2007, the "Southern Ports" (Adriatic and Black Sea) again lost out a little to the "Northern Ports" (North Sea). Their respective market shares were 36.2% and 63.8% of the in total 18 million tonnes.
The five most important seaports for the Austrian exports and imports (in thousands of tons)
Exports Imports Total +/- 08-07
1. Rotterdam (1) 0.991 3.809 4.799 - 6,1%
2. Koper (2) 1.187 3.089 4.277 + 6,7%
3. Hamburg (3) 1.630 1.041 2.670 - 5,2%
4. Antwerpen (4) 1.319 1.266 2.585 + 22,2%
5. Triëst (5) 703 622 1.325 + 9,7%
In 1991 Rotterdam ranked five. Later, Austria became navigable via the Rhine ? Main ? Danube Canal and the goods flow via Rotterdam grew eightfold.