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Inland shipping: an environmentally friendly alternative to road haulage

Rotterdam's ideal location on the estuary of the Rhine and Maas rivers provides Maasvlakte 2 with access to a network of large and small rivers and canals in North-west Europe, with a combined length of some 25,000 km.

This makes inland shipping eminently suited for the low-cost transport of large volumes and a wide variety of goods to and from the European hinterland. The rivers provide ample space for further growth. With the current type of vessels, congestion on the water would only start to occur if shipping traffic increases by some 700%.

From the road to inland shipping

Inland shipping also plays a key role in the ambition to transport less cargo over the roads. Throughout the Netherlands and the economically important European hinterland (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, France), the rivers are lined by a large number of container terminals for inland shipping. The inland vessels use the connection between these terminals and to the sea terminals in Rotterdam on a daily basis. The number of inland terminals is still increasing. At Maasvlakte 2, the Port Authority and the private sector are responding to this development by offering new facilities for inland vessels.

Container Transferium

A new development is the introduction of the transferium concept. Upon arriving at a sea terminal, containers are immediately transported by an inland shuttle to a location just outside the port. Further distribution is subsequently handled at this transferium. Private parties are already putting this concept into practice at Moerdijk (to the southeast of Rotterdam) and Amsterdam. The Port Authority is also planning to construct a container transferium at a location just to the east of Rotterdam - directly on the Nieuwe Maas waterway and close to the A15 motorway. A number of companies have joined this initiative. This transferium will allow sea terminals to bundle their capacities and reduce the number of trucks driving on the A15 from and to Maasvlakte 2.