Port of Rotterdam celebrates 50 years of container handling

On 3 May 1966 - so 50 years ago - the MS Fairland arrived in Rotterdam under the watchful eye of Queen Juliana, with 226 containers on board. From that moment on, the Sea-Land Shipping Company has been maintaining a weekly container service between New York and the West European ports of Rotterdam, Bremen and Grangemouth, and Rotterdam became Europe's first container port.


Today, Rotterdam is still the main container port in Europe. On Tuesday 3 May at eleven o'clock, the Port of Rotterdam Authority wishes to take a moment to reflect on this event in 1966 that turned out to be so important for the port of Rotterdam. We want to do this on the bridge of a container vessel at ECT’s Euromax Terminal Rotterdam, Maasvlakte, port number 9830.


Those who wish to be present can register before 3 May with Tie Schellekens, Press Officer of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.

Tie Schellekens
Woordvoering voor de Havenmeester, infrastructurele projecten, (inter)nationale deelnemingen, de band tussen stad en haven en milieu.
+31 (0)6 53 3253 34

’50 years of container handling’ dossier

The importance of container transport for global trade can hardly be overestimated – which is why the container has also been called ‘the invention of the century’. In celebration of this anniversary, the Port Authority will not only be paying homage to the past with a special ‘dossier’, but also looking into the future. Can we think of any new inventions that could herald the dawn of a comparable revolution in transport?

The Port Authority has highlighted several promising candidates in its dossier ’50 years of container handling’. For example, containers themselves are becoming smarter and smarter, and we are nearing the point where robots have become so clever that they can take over simple tasks from people. Including in the logistics sector. Or what about the Hyperloop, a kind of lightning-fast pneumatic post system for passenger and freight transport? Another promising development is the Physical Internet: an open network of logistics services that is somewhat similar to the Internet. Just like when you send an email, you will no longer have to choose beforehand which company will transport your goods from A to B, or which route the shipment should take.


Download the original files here. Editorial offices are free to use these articles, videos and infographics as they wish, however, we would like to ask them to make a reference to the site www.portofrotterdam.com/50years.

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