Major Steps in Reducing Footprint

Source: Port of Rotterdam Authority

Sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in decisions concerning production and distribution. Top brands are taking the lead in this area.
For example, the directors of thirteen American multinationals, such as Apple and Goldman Sachs, at the end of last year announced they would invest at least € 126 billion in new funds to reduce their ecological footprint. As a logistics hub, Rotterdam is specifically part of the picture in this respect.

The key industrial and economic centres in Western Europe can be reached within 24 hours from Rotterdam. This is because the port of Rotterdam is optimally connected with the rest of Europe via an extensive intermodal network comprising rail, inland waterways, road, shortsea routes and pipelines. You can select from among these different modalities or a combination of various transportation options on the basis of volume, desired speed, costs and sustainability goals. InlandLinks maps out Rotterdam’s hinterland network and provides an overview of the most efficient intermodal routes. In addition to searching on and selecting the terminals and container depots of shipping companies, it is now also possible to find information about operators and connections with Rotterdam.

An additional benefit is that the port of Rotterdam is very well positioned for companies that specifically want to reduce their ecological footprint. Due to the unsurpassed depth and unimpeded access, Rotterdam first and foremost is able to accommodate and service the largest, most modern, and therefore most efficient ships. This makes a considerable difference in terms of environmental performance per shipped kilogram of cargo. Furthermore, the terminal infrastructure is among the most modern in the world. This applies to all types of cargo, ranging from dry to liquid bulk and from LNG to breakbulk.
This is particularly evident for containers in the hypermodern terminals on Maasvlakte 2.

Thermal Energy Storage
The APM Terminal is CO2-neutral. Sustainability was also a key principle in the design of the RWG Terminal. The decision was to incorporate a very high degree of automation and the terminal is completely electric. Furthermore, all buildings are energy-neutral. This was achieved in various ways, such as via the use of triple-glazed glass panels, thermal energy storage, and ceiling and floor heating.

In 2013, ECT was presented with the Lean and Green Star, because it managed to demonstrably reduce its own CO2 footprint by at least twenty per cent, five years in a row. For example, the lifting motors of the cranes at ECT’s deepsea terminals change into generators that convert braking or lowering forces during container lifting operations into electricity.

Natural Infrastructure
Another key aspect of reducing the ecological footprint lies in the extensive possibilities available to reach Rotterdam from the hinterland, and vice versa, via rail or inland navigation. By making use of the Rhine River and other naturally present infrastructure, water-based transportation least affects the living environment. Ships emit three to six times less CO2 than trucks per ton-kilometer.

More Shuttles
The railway freight transportation network also scores significantly better in terms of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, fine particulates and sulphur dioxide emissions. The options and possibilities concerning this modality are increasing monthly. At the present time each day some 150 freight trains travel between the ports in the Netherlands and places such as Duisburg, Munich, Milan and Poznan. Last year railway services were expanded between Rotterdam and Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Italy and Hungary. For example, the Bayern-Rotterdam Express of EGS/ TX Logistics nowadays makes five trips per week, Shuttlewise has initiated a shuttle with the same frequency to Dourges, France, and Hupac has increased the frequency of its shuttle to Busto, Italy, to eleven times per week.

Anyone wanting to engage in serious boardroom discussions about reducing the ecological footprint will find it impossible to do so without considering Rotterdam in terms of logistics.

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