As one of the world’s leading ports, Rotterdam harbours the ambition of being the ‘smartest port’. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is embracing the energy transition and digitisation as an opportunity for making logistics chains that pass through Rotterdam more efficient, more reliable and hence more competitive. A perfect example of Rotterdam’s innovative ambition is the realisation of the Container Exchange Route (CER).

Efficient and flexible container exchange

Rotterdam has five independent deep sea container terminals and offers Europe's largest container cluster. The logistics on the terminals and between the port’s container facilities should be as efficient as possible.
That is why the Rotterdam Port Authority is introducing the Container Exchange Route; the largest, most advanced container exchange system of its kind. The CER is based on a dedicated infrastructure, common logistics agreements and ICT systems that interconnect all the port’s container facilities.

Curious as to what the CER will look like?

To get the full picture of the what the CER is all about and learn more about the concept and its advantages take a look at our latest animated video.

How the Container Exchange Route works

The CER enables transportation of containers on the Maasvlakte. A dedicated road network connects all terminals, container depots, distribution centres and customs facilities on the Maasvlakte. Using this network, autonomous vehicles transport the containers to their destination, fast and efficiently, undisturbed by other traffic.

There will still be manned driving on the company sites, where there is mixed traffic. On these sites at a so-called ‘Boarding Point’, a driver will board and take over the control of the autonomous vehicle for transport between the Boarding Point and the so-called ‘Transfer Point’(e.g. landside container stack or loading dock). At company sites without mixed traffic, the autonomous truck will drive directly to the Transfer Point.

The CER offers flexibility, shorter waiting times and attractive cost savings. It facilitates hassle-free exchange of containers and helps optimize supply chains.

Innovative IT solutions facilitate tracking and monitoring of the entire process from a cloud based platform. Additionally, the Port of Rotterdam is working hard to integrate other innovative technologies such as cloud computing, sensor technology and artificial intelligence to ensure the highest standards in safety and operational excellence.

The Container Exchange Route is planned to be operational in Q4 2021 and is expected to handle over one million containers per year.

Follow the construction of the CER via our vlogs:

'On the way to CER' vlog #3

'On the way to CER' vlog #2

'On the way to CER' vlog #1


A factsheet about the Container Exchange Route is available .
Please download it here.

Container Exchange Route Update

Stay updated on the latest developments regarding the Container Exchange Route. Register to the Container Exchange route email.



Would you like to know more or do you have a tip for the editorial team? Please contact:

Maarten de Wijs
Business Manager Containers
+31 (0)6 5111 4323

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