Following the Suez Canal reopening, the Port of Rotterdam has initiated proactive consultation with relevant stakeholders (shipping companies, terminal operators, inland terminals, hinterland carriers) to determine how to handle the forecast surge in incoming vessels as smoothly as possible.
hile this is undoubtedly a challenging undertaking, we still expect to manage this influx quite effectively – provided we make the right preparations,
…the port said.
The day that salvage crews managed to free the container vessel Ever Given, around 60 ships had planned to sail to Rotterdam via the Suez Canal. This total was made up of 56 container vessels, 3 tankers and 1 car carrier. At the time of Ever Given’s refloating, around 20 of these vessels lay at anchor, while 6 ships’ captains had decided to detour via the Cape of Good Hope.
As the port expects an exceptionally high influx of vessels and freight, it finds it important to work towards swift circulation, as well as an optimal balance between import and export flows.
For example, the Port Authority will be making agreements with the deep-sea container terminals regarding the delivery of export containers, while containers that arrive in Rotterdam need to be moved on from the terminals as quickly as possible.
Since the terminals won’t be able to help everyone at the same time, we are also calling on all parties in the logistics chain to check whether they have any opportunities to adapt their processes in the interim,
…the port stressed.
In addition, these parties are urged to exchange data in a timely, complete and correct manner, allowing other partners in the chain to proactively anticipate changes as they develop. For example, while deep sea terminals operate 24/7, many container recipients have different business hours.
According to information provided to the Port Authority by third parties, increasingly small groups of ships destined for Europe will be passing through the Suez Canal in the period ahead, each at a 12-15 hour interval. This measure will reduce the likelihood of extreme peak loads at the vessels’ ports of call.
By 31st March, 7 of the aforementioned 60 ships had resumed their voyage to Rotterdam via the Suez Canal. Normally speaking, the port of Rotterdam receives an average of 80 ocean-going vessels per day. Around 10% of this total (i.e. 7 ocean-going vessels on average) travel to Rotterdam via the Suez Canal.
The stark increase in port calls expected after the reopening of the Suez Canal will inevitably lead to delays in the handling of ships’ visits in the affected ports – including the port of Rotterdam.