Rotterdam: Austria’s main port for 10th time

By: | at 08:00 PM | Ports & Terminals  

In 2007, Rotterdam was Austria’s most important seaport for the tenth consecutive time, with a throughput of 5.1 million tons. This was over seven percent more than the previous year and represented a market share of 31%. This was revealed in the “Seehafenbilanz” for 2007, which the Austrian trade magazine for the logistics sector “Verkehr” draws up every year.  The port of Koper (Slovenia) remained second, with four million tons.  Four million tons of cargo, two percent more than in 2006, were shipped eastwards from Rotterdam. Austrian exports via Rotterdam were 33% up, to 1.1 million tons.

Franz Zauner, the Rotterdam Representative for Austria and Slovakia, appeared very pleased with the jubilee, the again stronger overall growth and the sharp rise in exports. This made Rotterdam climb from the fourth to the second place.

On the import side, the growth bottomed out due to increasing competition from the Southern ports in iron ore, coal and other dry bulk. 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.

Container traffic was up, incoming and outgoing, by over 10%, from 102,000 to 113,000 teu. The impact was felt particularly strongly on the export side in tons, due to the much higher load factor per teu.

Zauner estimates the total Austrian container volume at 450,000 teu. Rotterdam has therefore captured a market share of 25% thanks to the more than 20 weekly shuttle trains operated by Kühne+Nagel, Intercontainer ICA Austria, Cargo-Partner, Optimodal and Hupac Intermodal. As far as the near 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 five percent stake in the Gate-terminal now under construction at Maasvlakte. EconGas plans to bring up to three 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.

After increasing their share in 2005, the ‘Southern Ports’ (Adriatic and Black Sea) again lost out a little to the ‘Northern Ports’ (North Sea). Their respective market shares were 65.6 and 34.4% of the total 15 million tons.

The five most important seaports for the Austrian exports and imports (in thousands of tons) 

Exports Imports Total +/- 06-07
Rotterdam 1,097 4,016 5,113 + 7,4 %
Koper 1,060 2,948 4,008 + 12,2 %
Hamburg 1,705 1,112 2,818 + 1,9 %
Antwerpen 973 1,142 2,114 + 16,2 %
Triëst 659 548 1,207 + 38,1 %
Ranking 2006

In 1991 Rotterdam ranked five. Later, Austria became navigable via the Rhine - Main - Danube Canal and the goods flow via Rotterdam grew eightfold.


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