An accessible port

How to plan the best route for your container

Journey planner and business directory rolled in one.

The Port of Rotterdam has developed Navigate, a journey planner for container transport allowing cargo to travel more often via the quickest and cheapest route, including that package you ordered online.

WHY MAKE A JOURNEY PLANNER FOR CONTAINERS?
In the old days, when entrepreneurs wanted to get a container from A to B, they had to determine which mode of transport (shipping, rail, road haulage) was their quickest option. This involved a lot of paperwork and phone calls to companies and transport firms. Similar to calling a railway company and having them tell you that you need to ride a coach. That’s something you would have preferred to know from the outset. Navigate, the new journey planner for container transport developed by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, allows any entrepreneur to quickly determine and plan an optimised transport route online.

Photo: Peter Hilz/HH

HOW SHOULD I PICTURE THE PROCESS?
Navigate is a journey planner and business directory rolled in one. Just like a regular journey planner shows you the quickest itineraries, Navigate shows the smartest routes that can be taken by a container. Imagine you want to travel from Rotterdam to Groningen. The first question you ask yourself is: “What’s the quickest way to get there?” And after that: “Should I go by train, or is it better to take a bus, taxi or ferry? And where should I get on and off?” Navigate works in exactly the same way, but then for containers.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
The journey planner offers different options based on the selected point of departure and desired destination. Each itinerary specifies the various sea shipping, rail and/or inland shipping connections through which the container can reach its destination. The application goes through every imaginable route between 550 ports around the world. In addition, you have the rail and inland shipping connections between the port of Rotterdam and over 150 European inland container terminals at your fingertips.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO WITH NAVIGATE?
It allows you to immediately get in touch with the companies involved in the suggested itineraries. Navigate includes contact details for no fewer than 1,600 businesses. That’s when planning your route becomes a truly efficient process. And when a firm arrives in Rotterdam to deliver its containers, it can immediately check where it can have damaged units repaired during its visit.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU AND ME?
By utilising digital information (data that is shared via computers), the Port Authority works to make the port as efficient as possible. With new ‘tools’ like Navigate, the entire logistics chain – from the manufacturer to the end user – becomes more accessible and, as a consequence, easier and swifter. What’s in it for you? Well, you can rest assured that your package is delivered via the quickest, most efficient, cheapest, and in the near future most sustainable, route available.

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