The Port of Rotterdam has announced measures to tackle congestion at the ECT Delta and Euromax terminals
Delays faced by inland waterway and feeder vessels in the past two months or so have been widely reported and one leading barge operator, Contargo, announced that it would be introducing surcharges.
In a statement today, the port authority (HBR) said: “The inconvenience experienced by the port’s customers and users is of such magnitude that [we have] taken the initiative of developing solutions to this problem.
“Three potential measures were identified pursuant to meetings with ECT, LINC (inland container shipping sector), Uniport Terminal and the Kramer Group/RCT.
- Some barges, particularly those transporting smaller numbers of containers, will be handled at Rotterdam Container Terminal (RCT) located adjacent to the Delta Terminal. ECT will decide which ships will be handled by RCT.
- Bundling of containers in Moerdijk.Barges with a very high capacity will sshuttle between Moerdijk and the Maasvlakte. Because the cranes on larger ships can operate more efficiently, the quay at the Maasvlakte will be used more efficiently. This option is currently already available, but can be further scaled up.
- Bundling of inland shipping containers, and if necessary road containers, at the Uniport Terminal in the Waalhaven area. This is similar to the bundling in Moerdijk and results in greater efficiency at the Maasvlakte. This option is currently being worked out in further detail.
The three measures are primarily focused on handling inland shipping traffic. The expectation is that this will subsequently free up quay and labour capacity in favour of sea-going vessels.
HBR adds that the container sector continues to work structural handling improvements for the longer term, such as by implementing Nextlogic for the inland shipping sector.
HBR stated that ULCCs can load and unload around 10,000 TEU per call. On average, these containers are transported to and from the port by 1560 trucks, 32 barges, 10 feeder ships and 19 trains.