It is reasonable to expect that Maasvlakte 2 will lead to an enormous increase in traffic intensity on the roads around Rotterdam. However, extensive research shows that around 2033, Maasvlakte 2's contribution to traffic on the busiest roads in the region will only be a few percent.
At the moment, the main share of the containers that leave Rotterdam reach their destination by truck. A major advantage of road haulage is its flexibility and speed. While inland shipping and rail transport are bound to the waterways and rail network, trucks can deliver goods to the recipient's very doorstep. However, road haulage puts a lot of pressure on the motorways around Rotterdam. Incidentally, traffic (both commuter, professional and recreational) on most of the roads around Rotterdam will also increase independently of the new port's construction.
More transport via inland shipping and rail
To ensure Maasvlakte 2's accessibility in the future, the Port Authority is already working towards distributing the cargo flows from and to the port better between the various modes of transport. The aim is to increase the capacity of the most efficient and environmentally friendly modes of transport. This involves making more use of inland shipping and rail transport and transporting as few containers as possible via road haulage. This will prevent both congestion and pressure on the environment.
To achieve this, the Port Authority has made concrete agreements with the operators of the container terminals on Maasvlakte 2 regarding freight transport to the hinterland. At present, over 58% of the cargo still leaves the port area on a truck. By 2033, this figure needs to be reduced to 35%. Companies will therefore be required to transport more cargo using rail and inland shipping. This measure will lead to less congestion on the motorways and lower emissions of harmful substances. This redirecting of transport from trucks to trains and inland vessels is called the modal shift.
More capacity on the road
Despite all these measures, there will always be road haulage. It is therefore very important that the Dutch government continues to seriously invest in the road network. And this is the case. The plans include:
- Increasing the capacity of the A15 from the Maasvlakte to the east side of the port (Vaanplein junction). The motorway will be widened between Benelux and Vaanplein from a three-lane dual carriageway to a five-lane dual carriageway, partly fitted with extra rush hour lanes.
- A new Botlekbrug with more lanes and a higher vertical clearance.
Traffic Management Company
Accessibility is not only an issue for the Port Authority. That is why various parties in the region work together on the transport issue in a Verkeersonderneming (Traffic Management Company). In this organisation, the existing road authorities - including the Port Authority, Rijkswaterstaat and the Municipality of Rotterdam, bundle their forces to ensure the optimum circulation of road traffic in the port area.