One of Maasvlakte 2's key strengths is its excellent and safe accessibility by water. Even the very largest container ships will be able to dock in the new port problem-free 24 hours a day.
In the near future, ships will be able to access Maasvlakte 2 from the sea via the Yangtzehaven on the existing Maasvlakte. To this end, this important port basin will be dredged to a depth of some -20 m, widened to 600 m and finally connected to Maasvlakte 2. Via the Yangtzehaven, the very largest class of ships (12,500 TEU and over) will also be able to safely reach the new port area in heavy weather (up to wind force 8).
Number of ships will increase
The number of ships moving to and from Rotterdam will increase after the construction of Maasvlakte 2. The number of ocean-going vessels visiting the Rotterdam port is expected to increase from 31,000 in 2006 to a maximum of 57,000 in 2033. The number of inland vessels will be even higher. The existing Maasvlakte alone is visited by some 28,000 inland vessels per year. In 2033, this number will have risen to nearly 70,000 inland vessels for the Maasvlakte and Maasvlakte 2 combined.
Busy but safe
Between 2025 and 2033, this increasing shipping traffic will make a number of locations in the port quite busy. To guarantee safety, Rotterdam uses one of the most advanced traffic guidance systems in the world (Vessel Traffic Services). At the moment, the Port Authority is working towards the introduction of a new system: Vessel Traffic Management Future. This renewed system is expected to become fully operational in 2012.
The sea is not only an important shipping route for large ocean-going vessels. Many products leave the Rotterdam port via the smaller-scale coastal shipping services. Every year, some 30% of all containers are transferred directly from sea vessel to sea vessel for further transport to other seaports. Maasvlakte 2 is connected via coastal shipping to over 200 European ports. This development is expected to grow in scale in years to come. Coastal shipping is an increasingly important alternative for the transport of goods over the busy European roads. Many destinations, such as the UK, Scandinavia, the Baltic, the Iberian Peninsula and various Mediterranean countries, are supplied on a daily basis via regular services.