Given that the Port of Rotterdam is experiencing an increase in its inland container sector, the published guidelines focus on several decisive components in the sea freight process as shipper and/or freight forwarder you can contribute to creating the right expectations for inland vessel container transport.

The rapid development of the port’s inland industry has led to growing container volumes, greater peaks and a more complex planning. These factors, together with the free time and demurrage and detention conditions, influence inland container shipping chain party decisions.

Following the new regulations, earlier the port in collaboration with the port of Amsterdam issued a new joint Port Regulation ensuring clarity in the regulations as it replaces the individual copies from 2012 and 2010.

Advice for shippers and freight forwarders

The organization of incoming and outcoming containers is an important step, not to be missed, as it needs all chain parties to collaborate, share information and make agreements.

As shipper and/or freight forwarder, you are dependent on other parties, but you can also take steps to design this process according to your expectations.

… the port highlights.

Therefore, the guidelines provide some advice to shippers and freight forwarders:

  1. Make agreements will all parties concerning mutual expectations and test them against each other so that these can be adapted where necessary.
  2. Acknowledge the lead time of the container from seaport to unloading and loading address to seaport and discuss it with the barge operator or inland terminal.
  3. Set specific parameters for demurrage and detention with the shipping company. Take the actual ‘lead time’ into account. Expanding the free time can reduce time pressure on the delivery and collection of containers.
  4. When setting the Incoterms that are to be used, discuss the space that is needed to handle the container via inland shipping and, where necessary, ensure that the right responsible party makes the appropriate contractual agreements with the shipping company.
  5. Discuss the options for a dynamic closing with the shipping company, adjusted to match the arrival and departure times of the seagoing vessel. The barge operator or inland terminal can use this space during planning.
  6. Discuss the best locations with the shipping company for the delivery of empty containers (for example close to the inland terminal). This prevents the transport of empty containers to and from the port and therefore also reduces port calls and improves the loading of vessels.

Information between parties and discussion

  1. Explain which agreements and schedules are a priority and discuss them with the involved chain parties.
  2. Be clear about closings and ‘Actual Time of Arrival’ (ATA) of deep-sea containers with the barge operator and inland terminal to improve scheduling for the delivery/collection of containers.
  3. Highlight the containers in priority so that the barge operator can optimize the scheduling of its capacity and sequence of port calls at deep sea terminals.
  4. Inform barge operator of the shipping company service and seagoing vessel the containers are to be booked; then you will achieve optimization of weekly forecast and distribution.
  5. Inform the barge operator or inland terminal of the next modality in good time. The deep sea terminal can then be given timely information regarding containers that are to be delivered or collected by inland shipping, which optimises the handling of inland container shipping in the port.
  6. Share information and documents in time, providing time to chain parties to consider their capacity, while also decline last-minute changes to a minimum. This saves money and time and improves service quality.
  7. Inform the barge operator or inland terminal immediately regarding changes in ‘Expected Time of Arrival’ (ETA) and ‘Expected Time of Departure’ (ETD) of sea-going vessels, so that they can adjust their planning to this and optimise the use of their capacity.
  8. Inform the barge operator and inland terminal of the latest possible delivery and collection dates of containers and any changes to this so that everyone is aware of the actual date. This prevents containers being delivered too late or collected too early.

Concluding, the guidelines were launched by evofenedex, FENEX, LINc, VRTO, VRC, Port of Rotterdam chain parties.

To get a better insight into the guidelines, click herebelow