Amsterdam risks fading from maritime container stage

Time:2009-11-19 Browse:55 Author:RISINGSUN

AMSTERDAM, never a major player in the maritime container world, is soon to disappear entirely, despite last year`s promising entry bid, because of the recently announced departure of Grand Alliance ships from the city`s sole terminal.
Grand Alliance partners Hong Kong`s OOCL, Hapag-Lloyd and NYK have announced their weekly EU1 service will no longer call at Amsterdam Container Terminal from early 2010, thus ending container operations in the port. The EU1 Europe-Japan service, renamed Loop A, will soon call at Rotterdam instead.
Amsterdam traffic rose 10.2 per cent to 425,000 TEU in 2008, outpacing the growth of larger rivals like Antwerp, which grew just two per cent and Rotterdam where volume remained flat.
After a promising start, Amsterdam became a victim of the downturn and a victim of capacity-cutting carriers on Asia-Europe routes that chose to reduce calls and stick to larger ports with bigger ships. Henceforth the alliance will use 8,600-TEU ships, which cannot access Amsterdam as easily as other ports.