Energy transition

Electric container ships for Tilburg-Rotterdam route

The Dutch company Port-Liner is switching to the construction of all-electric freight vessels for inland shipping. The aim is for the first vessel to be put into operation in August of this year. The Tilburg logistics company GVT Group will operate these ‘Tesla’s of inland shipping’ on the route between the Vossenberg-West business park and the Port of Rotterdam.

The design for the all-electric inland vessels was produced by Frank Laupman of Omega Architects in Gelderland, a company mainly known for its luxury yachts. These vessels are container ships of 110 metres in length and 11.40 metres in the beam, with all-electrical propulsion powered by batteries, sufficient for the vessel to sail for 34 hours. The batteries are stored in containers, enabling the entire container of depleted batteries to be exchanged for a container of charged batteries; a much quicker process than having to wait to charge the batteries.

More cargo
According to the ministry, all-electric vessels can carry 8 per cent more volume than standard diesel vessels. This is because, in contrast to diesel engines, electric engines do not require an engine room, leaving more space available for cargo.

In the coming years, Port-Liner will be introducing a total of fifteen all-electric vessels in inland shipping in the Netherlands and Belgium. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management announced in December that the company is receiving a European subsidy of 7 million euro for the development and construction of six large all-electric inland vessels. The funds were awarded from the Connecting Europe Facility subsidy programme, intended for sustainable, border-crossing infrastructure or transport projects.

Energy in transition

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is committed to combating climate change and wants to play a leading role in the global energy transition. The reduction of CO2 emissions and efficient use of raw and residual materials are important tasks for the Port Authority.


We are committed to ensuring that the port and its environs are safe, healthy and appealing. We aim to counter climate change while ensuring that the port area makes a significant contribution to Dutch prosperity and employment.

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