Thanks to its location directly on the North Sea and its deep port basins, Rotterdam is one of the few European ports that can be quickly and safely accessed 24 hours a day by the very largest ocean-going vessels. To fully exploit these advantages, it is important that the port also has high-quality connections with the hinterland. This way, Rotterdam is and will remain an attractive location for companies. The Master Plan safeguards these unique characteristics.
Of the containers that enter Maasvlakte 2 from the sea, approximately 30% continue their voyage across the sea. This is called transshipment and does not put any pressure on the connections with the hinterland. The remaining 70% of the cargo finds its way to the hinterland via inland shipping, road and rail. Moreover, for the chemical industry, pipeline transport is of crucial importance. This division according to the type of hinterland transport is called the modal split. Agreements have been made with all parties involved to reduce road haulage in favour of inland shipping and rail. Cutting back road transport is an important environmental objective. Various measures have been or will be taken in this context. One example is the development of an inland shipping hub near Alblasserdam. Inland vessels transport containers from the Maasvlakte to the hub, from where the cargo is conveyed to its destination via road haulage. This will not only benefit the environment, it will also reduce pressure on the western section of the A15. Contractual agreements are made with clients located on Maasvlakte 2 to transport containers as far as possible via inland shipping and rail.
Modal split objectives:
Between 2005 and 2033
Road from 47% to 35%
Water from 40% to 45%
Rail from 13% to 20%
The modal split assumes that inland shipping will handle 45% of the transport of import and export containers: an increase of 5% in comparison with 2005. In the case of the chemical and industrial companies that will be setting up on Maasvlakte 2, plans also assume an important role for inland shipping. As a result, inland shipping will be an important player in Maasvlakte 2's logistics process.
In the coming years, the share of road transport will be reduced to 35%. In 2005, this was still 47%. Road haulage will always remain important for destinations closer by and thanks to the flexibility of this mode of transport. The reduction in road transport will be achieved, among other things, via the development of container hubs in the hinterland and clear agreements with the terminal operators. In addition, the individual trucks are expected to transport more containers per haul. Moreover, the occupancy of the trucks will be improved.
For the development of the Maasvlakte 2 rail network, researchers used prognoses to study the expected number of trains and the consequences for space required for marshalling. Due to the substantial increase in the volume of containers transferred via Maasvlakte and the need to transport a large share of these containers via rail, the train traffic from and to Maasvlakte will increase. In the future, approximately 20% of the container volume transported from and to the hinterland will be handled by rail. With the expected train numbers, the Havenspoorlijn and Betuweroute freight railway lines will be optimally utilised.
Cables and pipelines
Although it is hidden from view, underground transport is of vital importance to the Rotterdam port area. At Maasvlakte 2, the developers not only need to construct the utilities networks that are required for the companies' functioning, but also the transport pipelines that transport raw materials from supplier to client. The transport of products to the hinterland via cables and pipelines depends on the type of industry.