When it comes to digitalisation, I feel that ports still have a long way to go. The emphasis is currently on the hardware, such as building new ports, roads and rail, but it should actually be on the software - building intelligent systems that allow us to work faster and more efficiently. The whole world is investing in software and digitalisation and I personally feel that investment in, for example, Portbase should be the top priority for all ports. I am convinced that digitalisation will bring us further rewards and will help Rotterdam to maintain its leading position.
This brings me to the second issue I would like to address: the turnaround time. We still have the fastest turnaround time in the port of Rotterdam, but there is room for improvement. Bear in mind that a lot of parties are involved when a container travels through a port. The level of collaboration between these parties determines the turnaround time and, honestly, we could do so much better if the co-operation in this process was improved.
As a forwarder we deal with all the different parties involved in the logistics chain. It really frustrates me to see everyone acting from their own perspective, not thinking about the bigger picture and definitely not thinking in tandem. That is why I feel that we need a Code of Conduct for all parties engaged in dealing with the transport of containers. I strongly believe it would save us all time and therefore money if parties sign up to an agreement as to how we could work together in an optimal way. And, of course, we need to keep each other alert. This Code should not be a static ‘given’, but a dynamic document based on progressive insight.
What surprises me is that no port in the world has such a Code. This actually motivates me to make sure that we will be the first, because it suits our style. Rotterdam is ground-breaking and innovative, and this is yet another way to prove this.