Particularly, our intention is to focus in the way the Port Authority manages all the issues that come up and how they could improve the functionality of the port. We are greatly aware that the world of freight transport is growing rapidly and to grow with it, a port needs to be in continuous development. The Port of Rotterdam is one of the most important ports all over the world. It is situated on the Dutch coast and its main channel extends along 40 km offshore. It’s a huge infrastructure that handles more than 400 million tons per year.
Thus, every year more than 4 million containers go through this port, this means 400 per hour and more than 3000 daily. 1 The economic importance of the Port of Rotterdam becomes apparent from quantitative indicators such as the direct and indirect value added and employment. Its industrial character is reflected by the number and range of industries located in the Port of Rotterdam related to logistics (transport, storage and distribution), production (such as maritime and transport equipment, petroleum, chemicals and food) and (commercial) services.
All these activities are taking place in a relatively limited area2: Despite of this figures, currently the PoR is losing a big market share, especially in the container market, on behalf mainly of the ports of Antwerp and Hamburg. Hamburg’s port has very good rail connections and also it is really well located to distribute Eastern Europe. Besides, the port of Antwerp enjoys a strategic central position with immediate access to Europe’s road, rail, and water transportation networks and direct connections to Europe’s major consumption and production centers.
Therefore, our aim is to implement solutions to the problems that currently exist in the PoR. We want to make this port the most competitive, innovative and sustainable in the world and to do that we will focus in three main goals: 1CM55 – Port of Rotterdam Authority – Handle the lack of capacity until Maasvlakte 2 is finished. If we want this port to grow, we should manage this issue correctly. – Manage the congestion of the highway infrastructure. Solve the problem of the loss of market share due to the growth of ports like Hamburg or Antwerp. 3
First of all, we would like to analyze the current situation of the port. We think that the most important way to do so is with a SWOT analysis, so we are able to identify both the internal and the external factors which are favorable or unfavorable to achieve our goals. 2. SWOT Analysis Strengths ? Geographical Location ? Vast Knowledge of the market ? Great Experience ? Large Influence ? Intermodal Network ? Competitive pricing ? Width and large draft ? Cheap Transport possibilities Opportunities ? Growth expected with Maasvlakte 2 ? Automation of several processes ?
Possibility of implement biofuels flow Weaknesses ? Capacity Shortage ? Saturation of the port ? Both rail and roadways connections are not enough ? Environmental problems ? Delays due to failures in the distribution management ? Susceptible to storm surges Threats ? Constant growth of the containers ? Administrative regulations due to pollution ? Competition in the Le Havre-Hamburg range Strengths: We could subdivide the strengths into two groups: Characteristics of the Port: Its privileged situation allows the best distribution through the hinterland.
Reaching the major industrial and economic centre’s of Western Europe within 24 hours is feasible due to this fact. Besides, its great width and large draft allows the biggest ships to load and unload in it. 1CM55 – Port of Rotterdam Authority – Experience: The Port Authority has a wide knowledge in ports management: handling of shipping in the port of Rotterdam and the offshore approaches to the port. Opportunities: The future expansion of the PoR is extremely needed in the future. It is known that the container market is growing exponentially and the current terminals of the port (Maasvlakte and Eem/Waalhaven) are about to saturate.
With Maasvlakte 2 they will be able to handle a bigger amount of ships and therefore obtain a bigger profit. Weaknesses: The problem of being one of the most important ports worldwide is that you need to have the best distribution channels in order to be able to make the shipping as efficient as possible. The PoR needs new ways of shipping because railways and highways are already congested. Threats: To overcome the recent growth of its neighbors’ market share, the PoR should try to fortify its strengths and to take advantage of its opportunities.
Otherwise they will keep losing benefits because of them. The port should also be aware of the regulations, because nowadays the “green mind” is getting more and more important. 3. Alternatives 3. 1 Rail Transport Rail transport consists of long merchandise train with a lot of wagons circulating on dedicated way or on common way with the civil transport trains. This mean of transport is the cheapest one for a relatively fast, reliable and frequent transport of huge quantity on long distance. That is why it is used to transport bulky product, container and raw materials on distances higher than 200km.
The typical capacity of a train is actually about 120 TEU, equivalent to 60 trucks. The network of railroad is already well installed but this mode of transport meet some limits. Indeed, the passenger trains are priority on the railroad and when a section of the way is not reserved for the freight, the train has to make way for passenger trains. This problem is growing up 1CM55 – Port of Rotterdam Authority with the passenger traffic figures. The best solution is to create special railroad only for the freight transport in order to avoid sharing the passenger railroad. This solution has already started to be implemented in the Netherlands with the creation of the Betuweroute. This railway is design to allow freight train to go straight to Germany through the country. We think this route should be used more than it is nowadays. We are greatly aware of its importance due to the fact that it makes possible the just in time delivery between the PoR and any point connected with it. Results of using this route could be seen: One of the most important problems of the port, the capacity shortage, is reduced thanks to the reduction of freight stock due to this route. . 2 Intermodal Transport This way of transport aims to avoid the transfer of the merchandise from on transport mode to another.
For example, if a container needs to be first charged on a truck, then continue on a train to finish on again on a truck, the intermodal transport gives solution to avoid the lost of time during the transfers. Thus, the container is lay once on a truck and then the truck itself goes on the train till the destination. At the end, still the same truck finishes the transport by road. This technique is called piggyback and reduces a lot the roblem of congestion due to the charging time. This also permits to reduce the road congestion by moving the trucks on the railroads when it’s possible. This method reduces cargo handling; therefore security is improved by reducing both damages and losses. Besides, with this way of transport the time of delivering is significantly decreased. A reduced cost versus over road trucking is the key benefit for intra-continental use. Actually, we are not going to focus that much on this part, because we think the other ones are more interesting than this one and more benefit could be obtained. 3. 3 Barge Transport
Barge transport was traditionally used for bulk cargo (this means ore, coal or oil products). Nowadays, however, barges carry a wide range of finished products including chemicals, palletised goods and bigbags. Barge transport is suitable for carrying all types of freight, in dry or liquid form. 1CM55 – Port of Rotterdam Authority Even containers are highly suitable for transport by inland waterway. The barge transport sector is well equipped to meet the trend for more and more goods to be sent by container: container barges have a capacity of 20 to 500 TEU, while pusher convoys can take even more.
The importance of large, modern container barges cannot be over-emphasised. 5 Although it is a really cheap transport, the main problem it has is that it is slow and therefore the delivery times are higher than with other ways of transport. Currently, the concentration in barge operations is low due to this issue. However it is increasing not only because highways are getting congested, but also because people are looking forward to cleaner ways of transport and everybody knows that trucks and trains are note efficient ways of transport at all.
Thus, we have come up with an idea that we think could be very profitable if implemented. Nowadays, the existing way in which the freight is delivered using barge transport is with small vessels. It would be better if instead of small vessels the PoR, through the barge companies, uses larger barges so they can carry more containers. Furthermore, this larger barges could be used to replace some trucks so the number of them is reduced and with it the congestion of the highways. Hence, using this enhancement, we reduce both the barge and road traffic. 4. Conclusion
It is known that hinterland transport could improve its productivity if the number if terminal visits in the port is reduced. To do this that it could be useful to re-organize small containers which come from different terminals with some kind of specific distribution services. Cost improvement could be obtained depending always on the distances and other significant factors. The most promising solution for such a reduction can be found in the transhipment costs of containers. If transhipment between the trunk line section and the collection distribution section can be achieved by one move (i. . board-to-board transhipment) this would substantially improve the competitiveness of these split services. 6 From our point of view it would be very interesting if larger vessels are used, as we explained above, in order to make every single trip more efficient and therefore save some costs.