Every year 15,000 containers are transported with a direct inland navigation service between Rotterdam, Vlissingen, Terneuzen and Ghent, the Port of Rotterdam reported. This increase is due to a new connection the port of Rotterdam and North Sea Port invested in, in 2016. This connection made it possible to transfer more cargo via inland shipping.
Before 2016 there was no permanent service to connect these four ports. In fact, there was inland waterway transport between the individual ports and a large part was transported by lorries.
The demand for a more frequent cross-border connection has risen and since December 2016 Danser, who set up the new connection, has been calling at all ports every week. This shifts cargo from the road to inland shipping and makes better use of the strong sea and transit functions of the participating ports. The collaboration is now a success with 15,000 TEU per year.
Matthijs van Doorn, logistics manager at the Port of Rotterdam Authority, highlighted that:
Container transport by inland vessel has reliable arrival times and low CO2 emissions, making this transport mode increasingly attractive for companies. The connection did not yet exist and is actually a great success right from the start – for us it means a nice reinforcement and expansion of the transport to and from our (hinterland) network via inland shipping
The majority of the 15,000 containers is shipped in the Rotterdam-Zeeland-Ghent corridor. Moreover, volumes from and to northern France and the south of Belgium are also starting to grow.
As Marco Zwaap, General Manager Operations at Danser Group, describes, with this connection, smaller vessels are sailing from Wallonia and Lille to Ghent, where they unload and transfer the cargo to inland vessels in Zeeland and Rotterdam.
Danser Group now expects significant growth for this service for the coming years. In the meantime, a new terminal called ‘3MCT’, has been added in the North Sea Port, in Westdorpe in Zeeland, and the frequency of the number of departures is currently being increased.