The Dutch Port of Rotterdam s RoRo market, which focuses strongly on the United Kingdom, recorded an 11.4 percent increase for this year, compared to the last year s increase of 8 percent.
There are a number of reasons for the sharp increase, says Rob Mittelmeijer, Freight Commercial Manager at Stena Line.
First of all, the British economy is recovering and the pound has increased in value against the euro. That makes things easier for exporters in Europe. Added to this, the strikes by MyFerryLink employees in Calais and Dover last summer led to serious delays. And finally, of course, there is the refugee problem in Calais.
There are examples of shippers and freight forwarders who have started shipping cargo to the United Kingdom via Rotterdam instead of Calais, partly as a result of the unrest in Calais, says Steven Jan van Hengel, Business Manager Short Sea & RoRo for the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Before, these carriers would never have chosen to use the North Sea, because the Calais route is simply a much shorter crossing. But their customers are now demanding that they take an alternative route. That is to Rotterdam s advantage, Mittelmeijer said.
But we are certainly talking about a few dozen percent in the past year on our Hoek van Holland Harwich route. We expect the growth to continue for the time being, Mittelmeijer said.
According to the port, in response to the rising demand, all RoRo operators have increased their capacity in the port of Rotterdam or are working towards this. In this context, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Stena Line are currently building an extra berth for Stena Line in the Europoort. DFDS Seaways is deploying larger vessels and has increased the frequency on freight routes.
In addition, CldN is investing between 30 and 40 million euros in the expansion of the terminal in the Brittanni haven and P&O Ferries is extending the track at the terminal in the Europoort, which will increase their rail capacity.