AN UNCERTAIN international trade environment is causing business uncertainty, Port of Rotterdam Authority chief executive Allard Castelein says.

Mr Castelein was speaking on the occasion of the release of half year results, with container throughput rising 6.4% in terms of TEU and overall throughput (containerised and non-containerised) of 240.7m tonnes.

“In the macroeconomic field, relations between the world’s major trading blocs remain strained,” the chief executive said.

“There is also ongoing uncertainty about the introduction of trade tariffs post-Brexit.

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“Both developments are rendering the prospects for the further growth of world trade uncertain.”

Mr Castelein indicated difficult times ahead.

“Given the global uncertainties mentioned here, the Port of Rotterdam Authority expects a slight weakening of the growth in cargo throughput in the second half of 2019,” he said.

He said the port was doing well, however, particularly in the strategically important container market segment.

He also noted “significant progress” in the field of the energy transition, for example, in participating in the Porthos project for the storage of CO2 in depleted gas fields under the North Sea.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority also says it is “taking the lead” in the digital transformation of port and logistics.

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