TEUbooker launched the first 24/7 online booking portal for container transport in the Port of Rotterdam. With one click of the mouse, users can book containers on existing barge, rail and truck movements in the Maasvlakte area. Bookers can follow the progress of the container transport via a personalised dashboard.
Many inland ships and trains that move between terminals have space for containers. The booking portal utilises this unused capacity of barge, rail and road transport by using algorithms that make a direct match between market demand and individual operator capacity. Users no longer have to look for available space: TEUbooker assigns containers directly to participating operators on the basis of their capacity and schedules.
Frans Swarttouw, Managing Director of TEUbooker, explains: “The launch of TEUbooker heralds a new phase in the container logistics sector. The first bookings by terminals and shipping companies have been accomplished. Barge and rail operators have also responded enthusiastically. Organisations such as Danser, DistriRail, Pro-Log and Port Shuttle have already seen the benefits of TEUbooker and we are talking with several other operators.”
Challenge on the Maasvlakte
Since Maasvlakte II became operational in 2015, large numbers of both full and empty containers are exchanged between the new container terminals there and the existing terminals at Maasvlakte I. The Port of Rotterdam is developing a ‘Container Exchange Route’ (CER): an internal means to connect all the terminals on the Maasvlakte with each other. Until the establishment of the CER, transport of containers between terminals often occurs on public roads. TEUbooker offers a synchromodal solution: it utilises the unused capacities of all transport modes to maximise exchange possibilities and reduce transportation costs. “By linking supply and demand in this innovative way, TEUbooker supports the further optimisation of the logistics process in Rotterdam. This is positive for all parties active in container logistics,” comments Hans Nagtegaal, Head of Containers at the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
An ambitious platform
Swarttouw: “TEUbooker has the ambition to become the booking.com for container transport. These first steps in the Port of Rotterdam are a prelude to a platform in which users will be able to book transport to and from the European hinterland. Operators will be able to achieve greater coverage, including shippers and forwarders who still transport a great deal by road. These parties often lack the time to compile detailed information of all transportation modes – let alone the possibility to accomplish this online. The easier you make it for them, the more cargo you attract to the port. Ultimately, it is all about the ease with which operators can do business with a port. TEUbooker therefore remains committed to further facilitating container transport booking for all participating parties.”