by Bart Meijer; (Reuters) Freight volumes in the port of Rotterdam rose 5.8% on a yearly basis in the first half of 2021, as international trade recovered from its coronavirus slump, Europe’s largest port said on Thursday.
Traffic took a big hit from COVID-19 in the first half of 2020, and despite its recovery, throughput is still not back at levels seen before the outbreak of the pandemic, port authorities said.
Improvement was most notable in the shipment of iron ore and coal, which increased more than a third from a year ago on strong demand from steel factories in Germany.
Container freight was up almost 9%, despite problems caused by the container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week in March, disrupting global trade.
Traffic to and from Rotterdam is set to increase further in coming months as economic growth recovers across the globe, the port said, although the coronavirus remained a cause of concern.
(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Edmund Blair)
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