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Rotterdam harbour with most reefer connections

The container terminals in the harbour in Rotterdam have together more than 12,000 connections for reefer containers. This is more than double that of number two port Hamburg-Le Havre. Also compared to larger container ports in Asia, Rotterdam still has top position. PSA Singapore had 7,000 connections last year with a total transfer of 29 million TEU.
By far the largest part of the connections, almost 11,000, are at six large ocean terminals. The other 1,000 are divided amongst the 300 specialised inland navigation terminals and 800 depots for container storage. The largest part of the services using the sea terminals come from Latin America, South and West Africa, Oceania and Iceland/Norway. These are areas of origin for meat, fish and fruit, by far the most important products for reefer containers.

These frozen or cooled products are stored temporarily very close to the harbour and very often have a final continental destination at a relatively short distance of up to 500 kms from the port of Rotterdam. There is a large direct substantial demand by consumers, through wholesalers, or directly in Brussels, Paris, Venlo and Barendrecht. Consolidation of Dutch horticultural products also takes place at two Dutch locations.
In addition there is a large indirect demand by the traditionally strong food processing industry. This also causes re-export in reefer containers and export of Dutch products, mainly dairy produce. On top of that there is the growing sea-sea transit from the southern hemisphere to Russia and from Scandinavia to Asia (fish). The favourable demand and supply situation and the fact that many services use Rotterdam as first port of call, strengthen each other.

In February the export of seasonal fruit starts. Nearly all fruit with the exception of bananas which are produced all year round, comes from South America and South Africa. The share of containers compared to complete cooling vessels with loose pallets is big in Rotterdam in the meantime. The demand for fruit does not increase much in Western Europe, but it does in Central Europe. The strongest growth, however, is in the Middle East and Asia (development in taste and increasing purchasing power) As a result, strengthened by the Euro/dollar ratio, more fruit goes in the direction of Asia. Increase in supply is possible, but it takes time before new trees and shrubs are in production.
Source: Havenbedrijf Rotterdam

Publication date: 2/15/2012


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