Rotterdam is more than just a transit port. Many of the goods that enter the port in containers are processed into other products in large distribution centres, or value is added to them in some other way. Household appliances, for example, are given the right manual and plug for their country of destination before being dispatched. This is called re-export: products are imported in the Netherlands and once again exported after some modest processing.
Enormous growth in export figures
This procedure is particularly common for a large number of goods from Asia, for which Rotterdam has developed into the main European distribution centre. For example, in 2006, Rotterdam exported no less than 32 billion euro's worth of computers and other office equipment, primarily from Asia. The entire volume of re-exported goods has seen double-figure growth since 2003 and by now forms over half of the total goods export. The stronger increase of re-export in relation to 'regular' export is expected to continue, as the Netherlands' position as a trading nation is stronger than its position as a manufacturing nation. Maasvlakte 2 will provide room for the expansion of these trading activities, which are lucrative for the Netherlands.