A slowdown in shipping is being blamed by a weakening economy throughout many northern Europe’s major container ports.  These ports saw a reduction in container traffic from 7% to 1.9% (throughput container port figures).[1]  “It is becoming increasingly hard to deny the reality that the potential for a mild recession is knocking at the door of the eurozone,” explained in an analysis report.  Germany is being hit hard where the government has reduced its 2019 GDP forecast from 1.8% to just 1%.  With Brexit looming, things are not looking promising in Northern European ports for 2019. 

Port of Rotterdam

Preliminary figures show total container volumes across the six major northern range ports dropped by 238,000 teu in November 2018 to 3.58m teu, down 6.2%, in October 2018.  Total import container volumes fell by 6.7%, with loaded incoming containers down 108,000 teu to a total of 1.42m teu.  That shows a 7.1% decline from October 2018 and a 2.8% increase year on year.  Export containers also fell in November 2018, down 5.3% on the month before at 1.54m teu.  “For outgoing volumes, preliminary data indicates that every port experienced a decrease in volume from October, with all changes in the single-digit percentage range,” an analyst reports.  “In terms of year-on-year growth, every port except Antwerp and Zeebrugge is anticipated to have posted an increase.” 

With declining consumer confidence, the departure of the UK from the European Union and lower supply demands; growth figures will remain subdued into 2019.  Researchers are stating, “We are not predicting a full-blown recession, but rather a stagnation leading to a mild downturn.”  A recession will force many to tighten belts and look to stronger physical and cyber port protections.


Wapack Labs maintains a Threat Monitoring Service, branded as RedXray.  RedXray is sold as a service, or as a SaaS and may be used to monitor your company, your portfolio, your suppliers, or all of the above. This can assist in port supply chain protection to determine if there are any threats to your port or companies utilizing your port.  For more information, contact Wapack Labs at, or 1-844-4-WAPACK.


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