With a total throughput of 469.4 million tonnes, we are the largest port in Europe by far. In 2019, we invested €338.3 million in, among other things, making the port more accessible, safer, more efficient and more sustainable.
We are working with declining markets in the fossil industry and new business models that generate opportunities. Geopolitical developments also play an important role. In 2019, for example, we saw tensions between the leading trading blocs. There is also ongoing uncertainty about the introduction of trade tariffs post-Brexit. These developments are rendering the prospects for the further growth of world trade uncertain.
Our role in a changing world
In our changing world, one of our roles is to direct the port and industrial complex. That involves being active in the development of the client portfolio and initiating new activities. Not only do we come up with initiatives, we also implement them in collaboration with clients and partners. We believe it is important to establish an efficient energy and raw materials system so that existing activities have a future and so that new industry is located here. The arrival of Black Bear Carbon (for recycling car tyres) and uRecycle (for recycling batteries) are excellent examples of the second category. We would also like to mention the arrival of Innocent as the first major player in the Rotterdam Food Hub. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is investing on this 60-hectare new site in order to provide the optimal facilities for companies in the agro-food sector. The producer of smoothies and fruit juices started preparations in the autumn of 2019 for the construction of a carbon-neutral factory.
High level of investment
The investment portfolio is well filled at approximately €1.5 billion for the next five years. Some of this is finding its way to innovative projects in the energy transition and the digital transition in the logistics chain. Investments were high again in 2019. Of course, we look closely at innovation and costs. A good example is our approach to the construction and maintenance of maritime infrastructure. By using a total package of optimisation and design tools, we find innovative ways to save on investments. The use of less and/or smarter materials plays an important role here. An example is the protection of quay walls from corrosion using impressed current. The new insights can be used by both our clients and ourselves. We approach our clients proactively with opportunities for improving the performance of the maritime infrastructure. In addition, we work hard for our clients on enhancing the reliability of the logistics chain. For example, the first pile for the Container Exchange Route was driven in 2019, optimising the exchange of containers between the deep-sea terminals. The construction of the Theemsweg route, which involves rerouting a section of the port railway line, is on schedule.
We also invested in the digital transition. As an independent party, we are eager to assume our responsibility for advancing the digital transition, calling in external expertise and forging strong coalitions. We continued to work on building a strong digital basis characterised by the integration of data management and services. Our products and services relate to shipping, commerce, port development and management, operations, logistics and accessibility. We follow two lines: improving our insight into the efficiency of logistical processes, and better management of the port infrastructure. An example of the latter is the development of a digital twin version of the port on an IoT platform. We have launched a pilot project in collaboration with ESRI, IBM and Cisco. The number of digital products that we develop, import and sell for the first line increased rapidly in 2019. Striking examples of products that have been developed further are Pronto and Navigate. The newcomers in 2019 included Boxinsider and OnTrack. Our initiatives in the digital transformation of the port and logistics allow us to enhance efficiency in the major trade routes, to cut costs and to reduce carbon emissions.