Next year, the port tariffs paid by sea-going vessels in Rotterdam will increase by 0.3%. This is equivalent to half the rate of inflation over the past year. The adjustment is in line with the three-year agreement made by Deltalinqs, VRC, VNPI and the Port of Rotterdam Authority regarding the development of Rotterdam’s port tariffs. At the time, parties agreed to let tariffs increase at a moderate pace for a period of three years – by half the rate of inflation, to a maximum of 1% per year. In addition, the Port Authority has taken a number of targeted measures intended to stimulate specific segments: the transshipment of containers, for example.
Sea port tariffs
In the Containers sector, the Port Authority is focusing its attention on increasing the number of transshipment containers handled at the port. After entering the port on board a sea-going vessel, these containers are immediately relayed at the terminal to a different vessel, which will take them by sea to another European port. The average port tariff charged for this type of container is € 8. In 2017, the existing discount of € 3.75 per deepsea container will be raised to € 5. The current transshipment discount of € 2.50 per container for feeder containers will also be maintained in the coming year. By taking these measures, the Port Authority wants to lure companies in this sector to substantially increase the volume of transshipment cargo relayed via Rotterdam. In addition, the Port Authority will be maintaining the existing incentive for container vessels to call on Rotterdam twice during the European leg of their itinerary. The port tariff that is charged to deepsea container vessels (which are used for intercontinental transport) for a second call on Rotterdam is 25% of the normal tariff. This encourages the very largest category of heavily-loaded container vessels to schedule Rotterdam as their first port of call upon arriving in north-western Europe. They can unload a share of their cargo here and then dock at several other European ports. The ships can eventually call on Rotterdam a second time before departing (in many cases for Asia). This ensures that the vessels leave Europe with a maximum volume of cargo.
In accordance with the three-year agreement made with VNPI two years ago, the 2017 tariff for tankers transporting crude oil will once again be 1.5% lower than the adjusted ‘general’ sea port tariffs. In concrete terms, this means that in 2017, the tariff for crude oil tankers will be lowered by 1.2%. 2017 will be the third consecutive year that the tariff for crude oil tankers decreases compared to the previous year.
Rotterdam will maintain its existing discount for clean vessels based on the Environmental Ship Index (ESI). Vessels that score at least 31 points on this index will receive a 10% discount on the ship’s portion of the port tariff. Moreover, this discount will be multiplied by two if the vessel releases relatively low nitrogen emissions. To become eligible for this extra discount, the vessel needs to score at least 31 points in the NOx emissions category according to ESI standards.
Inland port tariffs
It has been agreed to raise port tariffs for inland shipping by half the rate of inflation in the coming year – similar to the agreement made regarding sea port tariffs. This means that Rotterdam will increase its inland port tariffs for 2017 by 0.3%.