Rotterdam Still Battling Congestion Issues

Shippers are still facing delays amid ongoing congestion issues at the Port of Rotterdam, which have lead to bigger bills and delayed cargo. Instead of a slow summer, an unexpected surge in Europe-Asia volumes have caught the port terminals off-guard to handle the excess workload.

Even though the Port of Rotterdam announced measures to eliminate congestion at the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal, some shippers have decided to cancel port calls at Rotterdam, like Hapag Lloyd that diverted its ships to Antwerp.

“It takes you more time, it costs you more money, without being sure that your containers are loaded on time,” Lodewijk Wisse from EVO told Lloyd’s List.

“The thing that ECT could improve, from our perspective, is communication to barge operators and truckers, but also to their indirect clients, who are the shippers.

“ECT still does not want to give any forecast on how long it will take to sort out the problem. They just don’t know, or they don’t want to say.”

What is more, barge operator Contargo and feedership operator Team Lines  announced congestion surcharges.

Hamburg seems to have been hit by the same problems, as inland waterway vessels and feeder vessels face delays.

Rotterdam identified the following measures to tackle the congestion issues  pursuant to meetings with ECT, LINC (inland container shipping sector), Uniport Terminal and the Kramer Group/RCT.

  • Part of the inland waterway vessels, particularly those vessels transporting smaller numbers of containers to and from the port will be handled at the Rotterdam Container Terminal (RCT) located adjacent to the Delta Terminal.
  • Bundling of containers in the Port of Moerdijk (M.C.T.). Inland waterway vessels with a very high capacity will subsequently shuttle between Moerdijk and the Maasvlakte.
  • 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.

World Maritime News Staff, August 18, 2014





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