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Container Exchange Route (CER)

15 June 2021
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Rotterdam is one of the world’s leading logistics hubs. The port contributes to employment opportunities and Dutch prosperity and development. The aim is further growth, but in a safe, smart and sustainable way. One exponent of this is the development of the Container Exchange Route. In November 2023, the first companies have put the route into service.

Container transport

The port of Rotterdam offers space for the largest container cluster in Europe. Every year, around 15 million TEU (standard size) containers are transshipped.

In 2035, it was calculated that capacity will be needed for up to 8 million more. The aim is to make the exchange of containers as efficient, safe and sustainable as possible. To that end, the Port of Rotterdam Authority has had the Container Exchange Route (CER) constructed.

CER marked on photograph


The CER was put into service at the end of November 2023.

How does the Container Exchange Route work?

The CER is a closed road network, 17 kilometres long, on the Maasvlakte, that connects a great many of the terminals, depots, distribution centres and the State Inspection Terminal. Manned vehicles transport the containers to and from their destination via this network.

The CER makes a big contribution to safety, integrity, efficiency and sustainability in the port of Rotterdam. There is less delay on the routes. Participating companies provide a smoother processing of containers that go via the CER. This results in savings in time, improved road safety and reduced emissions. And since less use is being made of the public roads, traffic flow there is also better.

The increase in safety is due to the fact that the CER is a closed network. That means there is far less opportunity of accessing the cargo between the terminals and the State Inspection Terminal. This is in line with the Customs’ wish that stringent extra measures be taken in the port of Rotterdam in the fight against drug trafficking and undermining.

CER cross junction seen from above