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About the port
The largest container port in the European continent, the port of Rotterdam was the busiest port in the world from 1962-2004. Currently, it is the world’s 11th largest container port handling more than 14.5 million TEUs of cargo annually. Its beginning dates back to 1250 when a small dam was constructed over the Rotte river, hence the name, Rotter-dam.
With excellent intermodal connections, the port of Rotterdam offers a comprehensive range of service providers, freight forwarders, operations, and state-of-the-art terminals. It has some of the most advanced container terminals in the world — providing automated processes for handling shipments and the largest container vessels efficiently.
The port of Rotterdam has 5 distinct port areas, 3 distribution centers, and serves over 50 million consumers worldwide. It has 13 container terminals and 24 container depots to handle short-sea, deep-sea, and inland shipping requirements.
The port areas are located at Maasvlakte, Europoort, Botlek, Waalhaven, and Eemhaven.
The container terminals with the largest container handling capacities are located at:
- APM Terminals Rotterdam – Coloradoweg 50 (3.3 million TEUs)
- APM Terminals Maasvlakte II – Europaweg 910 (2.7 million TEUs)
- Rotterdam World Gateway – Amoerweg 50 (2.3 million TEUs)
- Rotterdam Short Sea Terminals – Reeweg 35 (1.4 million TEUs)
- Uniport Multipurpose Terminals – Zaltbommelstraat 1 (1.2 million TEus)
An important logistics hub for the world, the Rotterdam port handles about 500 million tonnes of cargo annually including dry bulk (coal, iron ore, scrap, soy, salt, sand, gravel), liquid bulk (petroleum, biofuels, oils), containerized cargo, Ro-Ro & breakbulk (cars, non-ferrous metals, loaded trailers, paper, etc.)
Most of the container handling is carried out by automated robotic cranes, and computer-controlled automated guided vehicles (AGVs). After being loaded onto the vehicle, the containers are identified by infrared and sorted to be sent to their designated terminals. Automated Stacking Cranes (ASCs) move the container to stacking yards, eliminating the need for straddle carriers and manual labour.
Vessel owners would find all related services for ships and containers at these terminals – storage, transhipment, customs, maintenance, automated processing units, etc.
The unhindered access to the sea and international water coupled with modern facilities and great hinterland network makes the Port of Rotterdam a go-to choice for the freight forwarders, shippers, and container owners.
With specialized terminals for each type of cargo, the port authorities focus not only on quantity but also the quality of the cargo. The port of Rotterdam is working to ensure safe, smooth, and speedy delivery of the shipments along with being sustainable. Maasvlakte II, the most ambitious project of the Rotterdam port, aims to become the most innovative and sustainable terminal port in the world.
Container Availability in Rotterdam
The port of Rotterdam is more than just a transit point. It is a gateway to the continent and a major transportation link in the global supply chain network. Forming a key revenue source for the country, it employs more than 385,000 people.
You can find containers in Rotterdam through our members at the online xChange platform. In the public search, you can see where some of the xChange members are looking to get their containers moved to and from the port of Rotterdam.
Check the Container Availability Index (CAx) to know whether containers are available in excess or are in deficit to plan your next shipment.
A world-class port, the port of Rotterdam has undergone several infrastructural developments to accommodate traffic, improve efficiency, and achieve sustainability goals. It boasts of top-notch security systems certified by the International Maritime Authority (IMA). The port continues to outperform any other port in Europe.
This is made possible by the port’s continued emphasis on digitization, adaptability, and innovation. The port of Rotterdam is currently classified as the world’s smartest port. Open 24/7, the port uses the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data to collect and analyze data from the sensors across the port and utilize it for better handling and decision making. It also has advanced radar systems to monitor and control the vessel traffic, avoid bottleneck situations, congestion, and ensure a smooth flow for incoming and outgoing vessels.
Port authorities of Rotterdam have also taken several measures and adopted clean energy sources for daily operations. The Rotterdam port aims to be a carbon-neutral port by 2050, by expanding their abilities and transforming into the smartest, most accessible, and most sustainable logistical hub.