Disruptive insights

You can't open a newspaper these days without reading something about 'disruptive technologies', such as drones, biomechanics, 3-D printing and robotics. There are all kinds of experiments in this field taking place in the port of Rotterdam. But, it appears, there are also disruptive insights. The flow of goods for import and export to and from Southern Germany and Central Europe has always been through Hamburg. These days however, they pass in increasing volumes through the port of Rotterdam. ‘The investment in infrastructure is beginning to deliver dividends.’

One of the companies ‘shifting port’ recently with a substantial cargo portfolio is CEVA Logistics, a top 10 player in logistic services worldwide and one of the top three for 'contract logistics'. They provide most of the logistical distribution for a large international clothing firm with its origins in Ireland. ‘A brilliant, but also challenging operation’, according to Rene van Loon, Senior Vice President Ocean Business Line for CEVA Logistics. ‘Fast fashion is a growing market, but to respond successfully requires high standards in delivery speed and reliability. That is right up our street and allows us to apply our full expertise in multi-modal supply chain solutions, to provide our customer with the best possible service.’

Scaling up
‘That is how we ended up with EGS/TX’, adds Rutger den Hertog, Head of Ocean Freight Benelux for CEVA Logistics. ‘Their direct shuttle between Nuremberg and Rotterdam, operating five times per week, offers us the reliability we require. Besides, capacity on their trains is guaranteed and can be scaled up if necessary. In other words, EGS/TX anticipates our every move and organises the entire journey, from the port to the distribution centres in Mönchen Gladbach and Bor (Czech Republic).’

Sailing schedules
The erosion of the automatic option of shipping via Northern Germany has also been stimulated by developments in and around Rotterdam itself. Van Loon: ‘Rotterdam wins hands down in terms of their prominent role in the sailing schedules of container lines. For us, that adds additional speed to the process. Combine this with the slightly more advantageous terminal handling charges and the digital processing, and choosing Rotterdam from Southern Germany becomes logical. The simplified customer procedure is a bonus, they are really behind in this field in Germany.’ Finally, Van Loon provides a wider perspective for the 'business case'. ‘It took a while, but the Betuwe Route has been a good move. The investment in infrastructure is now delivering a noticeable dividend, which benefits the whole of the Netherlands.’

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