According to the European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat, the gross weight of goods handled in the main ports of the European Union (EU) in the fourth quarter of 2016 stood at over 950 million tonnes. This was an increase of 1.4 % compared with the same quarter of 2015 (close to 940 million tonnes).
The Netherlands leads the EU’s maritime freight transport, with Rotterdam being the top port. In the fourth quarter, four Member States handled more than 100 million tonnes of goods in their main ports. These were the Netherlands (150 million tonnes), the United Kingdom (117 million tonnes), Spain (116 million tonnes) and Italy (110 million tonnes).
Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, the Netherlands (+2%), Spain (+1%), and Italy (+3%) recorded an increase in main port activity in the fourth quarter of 2016. On the other hand, the volume of goods handled in the main ports of the United Kingdom decreased by 4%.
With the exception of ‘Roll on – Roll off’ mobile units, Rotterdam was the largest European port for all other types of cargo, handling 109 million tonnes of goods. It was followed by Antwerp, Belgium (49 million tonnes), Hamburg, Germany (29 million tonnes), Amsterdam, the Netherlands (25 million tonnes) and Algeciras, Spain (21 million tonnes).