Rhine ports steady the ship
The first quarter of this year went rather well for the Port of Switzerland, the operator of the Swiss inland ports on the River Rhine.
The port authority’s three hubs handled 1.26 million t of goods in Q1/2021, 2.9% less than the 1.29 million t in the same period last year. Exports grew by 2.4% to 214,870 t, while imports declined by 3.9% to 1.04 million t. Oil and foodstuffs imports fell, as did the container segment’s figures, by 5% to about 27,300 teu.
Delays in maritime ports cause serious problems for inland hubs, the authority said, because inland barges cannot plan on a daily basis, and then have to sit around idle in Rotterdam or Antwerp.
The authority expects this issue to become more acute in Q2, with the after-effects of the Suez Canal blockage, for instance. The gateways also suffered from a lack of empty containers.