The freight corridor from Rotterdam to Genoa is one of the most crucial European logistics axes and is also enormously important for the transport of goods to and from Rhineland-Palatinate. The Port of Rotterdam, the State of Rhineland-Palatinate and its port operations have been working closely together to improve hinterland transport from the Port of Rotterdam, which was also the case at the latest meeting of Wissing and Hoogsteden in Rotterdam.
Increasing capacity of hinterland transport
“With the expansion of Europe's largest seaport and the doubling of container throughput, the capacity of hinterland transport must also be increased," said Transport Minister Wissing and Port Vice President Hoogsteden. As both emphatically noted, “to ensure supply for the population and companies along the Rhine, we need an efficient waterway and greater speed in carrying out transport projects along the Rhine corridor.” “The low water levels of 2018 have revealed the urgent need to expand the role of the Rhine as the central European transport and logistics axis,” Wissing added. “It is therefore important that the German federal government quickly implement the project to optimise unloading along the Middle Rhine (Abladeoptimierung am Mittelrhein).”
German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer finally included this unloading optimisation project in the Master Plan for Inland Navigation (Masterplan Binnenschifffahrt) proposed in May 2019, and announced the hiring of new personnel for expansion and planning. “It is a first step in the right direction," said Wissing, who also welcomed Scheuer’s announcement of additional measures to make the Rhine more efficient. Words need to be swiftly followed by deeds.
It is equally important to upgrade rail infrastructure. According to Hoogsteden, this not only concerns the construction of an alternative route to the Middle Rhine Valley but also extension of the Betuwe line between Oberhausen and Emmerich in North Rhine-Westphalia.