Yesterday, November 9, the Swiss Ministry of Transport and the Swiss Embassy in the Netherlands organised an international congress in Rotterdam on the development of the Rotterdam-Genoa transport corridor. The annual volume of approximately 700 million tonnes of goods by rail only, 50% of total north-south volume, makes it the main European cargo transport corridor. In the coming years, some 25 billion Euro will be invested in it. A considerable part of it is funded by Switzerland.
Appreciation and work to do
On behalf of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, its COO Mrs Thessa Menssen was one of the key note speakers. She expressed her appreciation for the new TEN-T guidelines, cornerstone of the European transport policy, for the period 2012-2020 drawn up by the European Commission.
More money is allocated, there is a focus on a core network and within every corridor there are horizontal projects formulated and is the co-ordination formalised. This is just a starting point because the core transport network should, in 2030 at the latest, be the backbone of transport within the internal market. “As far as we are concerned, this may be earlier the situation. In any case, Corridor 6 has to be ‘in perfect shape’ before that date. It is of the utmost importance that the relevant countries, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy proactively draw up a common agenda to optimise the network and to remove bottlenecks”.
Within the corridor, TEN-T classifies the Third Track (Emmerich-Oberhausen) and the Rhine Valley Track (Karlsruhe-Basel) as bottlenecks. “The Netherlands and Switzerland have an interest and duty to keep putting pressure on Germany to bring about an optimal accessibility of the corridor countries (including Germany!!). But they also have to see that ‘our’ projects are in the TEN-T selection next year”.
The huge investments are future proof according to Menssen. The recent transport efficiency analysis of NEA demonstrates substantial foundation to argue for the extension of port capacity in the north range and the need to strengthen its accessibility to and from the hinterland. She stated that ‘the EU corridor approach and co-funding programmes should follow the market and therewith the concentration and distribution of existing freight flows. Along this line, the use of current efficiency in freight flows can be further maximised and even enhanced”.
Growth and shift
The Port of Rotterdam Authority expects the number of containers transported to and from the Rotterdam hinterland, excluding the sea-sea transhipment, to rise from 7.9 million TEU in 2008 to 18 million TEU in 2035. At the same time the share of rail and inland shipping has to rise considerably: inland shipping from 1.7 to 7 million TEU and rail from 0.6 to 3 million TEU. Even then, road transport will grow in numbers from 2.1 to 5 million TEU.
Source: Port of Rotterdam Authority, 9-11-201