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Asian exports put pressure on largest Euro terminals

Asian exports put pressure on largest Euro terminals

Rotterdam: Further evidence that surging Asian export volumes are straining European port capacity to their limit came yesterday as Rotterdam Port Authority's CEO Hans Smits admitted "the increase in containers far exceeds the 10-15% expansion in terminal capacity". Imports from the Far East were one of a range of factors, he said, including rising German and Dutch exports, reflecting a "growth spurt" in the European economy. Last Friday, Rotterdam's ECT Delta Terminal said it could no longer accept empty containers due to pressure on facilities.

The move came following restrictions on empty boxes at both APM Terminal Rotterdam and other container facilities in Hamburg. Rotterdam is still accepting empties at specialised depots away from the box terminals themselves but, according to a statement, storage capacity in the hinterland will probably also be needed. "We are looking for a possible (partial) emergency solution in consultation with ECT," explained Rotterdam's Smits, "but the space outside the terminal is limited and nothing can be done about that."  [21/02/07]

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