A commercial perspective on the port of Rotterdam

The Port of Rotterdam Authority presented its commercial perspectives on the port in 2014 during this year’s first RPPC Quarterly Meeting. Here are some of the key points:

Container Port
“The future of container shipping is a combination of scaling up, consolidation and co-operation,” says Emile Hoogsteden, VP Containers, Breakbulk & Logistics at the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “With the new mega-alliances, less container vessels will call on Rotterdam. But this does not affect the number of containers coming in. Volumes will still grow. The vessels that do call on Rotterdam will simply be bigger. The amount of containers to be exchanged per call will increase significantly. We need to be prepared for this shift. And we are! Already we can receive the largest ships 24/7. With the Amazonehaven being widened and Maasvlakte2 becoming operational end of this year, we are even better prepared to serve fully loaded 18.000 TEU (and larger) vessels. With the state-of-the art facilities and excellent hinterland connectivity, we are positioned perfectly to handle these larger volumes.”

And the Port of Rotterdam continues to invest and innovate. “We do this in co-operation with market parties. We are not only adapting to the increase in volume and larger container vessels, but we are also optimizing the logistical chain with projects as Container Logistics Maasvlakte (CLM), InlandLinks, Nextlogic and the Rail Incubator. Partnership and co-operation is key to success in our industry. The world around us is shifting and we have the space and facilities to adapt to this. By being innovative today the port of Rotterdam stays ahead of the game, now and in the future.”

Fuels Hub
“In fuels we are already doing really well,” says Bas Hennissen, VP Process Industry and Bulk Cargo. Rotterdam is Western Europe’s market leader in liqid bulk. The port accounts for a 60 per cent market share in crude oil, 40 per cent in oil products and the Port of Rotterdam is Europe’s largest bunkerfuel hub. “But we are facing difficulties with an overcapacity in refineries in Europe and new refineries being built in Asia. To stay ahead of the game, we are improving the nautical accessibility and infrastructure in the Port. We are optimizing our connectivity in the chemical cluster and we promote the use of LNG as a fuel.”

Energy Port
“The energy market is in turmoil, with coal being much cheaper than gas due to the shale gas boom in the U.S.” says Hennissen. “Gas fired power plants are closing, because they can’t compete with the coal fired power plants. And in turn, the coal plants experience competition from peaks in the production of sustainable energy in Germany.” The Port’s strategy is to continue with the CO2 capture and storage project ROAD and the Deltaplan Energy Infrastructure. Rotterdam wants to secure new, clean sources of energy in the biomass hub and Maasvlakte 2 is ideal for wind turbines.

Port of Rotterdam International
“PoRint strengthens the brand Port of Rotterdam internationally”, says Roger Clasquin, Director of PoRint. “We focus on creating business opportunities for our customers, we are providing access to market knowledge for relevant stakeholders and we are enhancing the clusters in Rotterdam by entering into international partnerships.” This is paying off in Sohar, Oman. The port of Sohar, the joint venture between the Port of Rotterdam and the Government of Oman won the Seatrade Middle East Award for Port Authority of the Year in 2013 and the container terminal and Steinweg are planning to expand. In 2014 PoRint will continue with the formation of a joint venture in Porto Central, Brazil and a feasibility study is being executed for a project in Constanta, Romania.

Emile Hoogsteden

Director Containers, Breakbulk and Logistics - Port of Rotterdam Authority

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