The initiative aligns well with the targets agreed on in the sector-wide inland container shipping consultations, which were launched by the Port of Rotterdam Authority on 8 September 2017. It was set up in response to various reports regarding increasing waiting times at Rotterdam’s deep sea terminals. Within this initiative, ECT guarantees a free quay for the Intercity Barge – provided the vessel realises at least 200 container transfers per run (the ‘fixed window’). Intercity Barge therefore focuses on bundling cargo at the aforementioned terminals and depots, which will allow it to travel straight to and from Maasvlakte with large call sizes.
By expediting the handling of containers, the Intercity Barge is able to improve the competitive edge of the inland shipping sector. Every year, over 12 million container units are put through Rotterdam, of which over 3 million are moved in and out of the port by inland vessel.