Calmer waters in Rotterdam

New beginnings: ECT has dropped the lawsuit against the Port of Rotterdam regarding overcapacity issues at Maasvlakte II New beginnings: ECT has dropped the lawsuit against the Port of Rotterdam regarding overcapacity issues at Maasvlakte II
Industry Database

Europe Container Terminals (ECT) has dropped the lengthy lawsuit against the Port of Rotterdam Authority surrounding its concern over possible overcapacity issues at Maasvlakte II after three years of infighting.

ECT said that it has come to an understanding with the port authority that takes into account both parties “respective rights and obligations.”

In a statement, the operator said that this not only the end to the lawsuit, but also the beginning of jointly strengthening the competitive position and on social and logistics issues of container-handling operations in Rotterdam.

Sjaak Poppe, spokesperson for the Port of Rotterdam, told Port Strategy: “I think both ECT and we have come to the understanding that it's in the interests of both to cooperate instead of to fight one another in court.”

He told PS that future cooperation will include working on physical overland connection of all container terminals on the Maasvlakte for fast, reliable and affordable exchange of containers.

“With projects like this we expect to make Rotterdam more attractive as a container port and attract a larger volume, which is in both our interest,” he added.

ECT first filed the lawsuit against the port authority three years ago to the tune of US$1.2bn. It argued that by opening up the new terminals for both APM Terminals and DP World at the Maasvlakte II expansion would cause 50% overcapacity in container handling operations to the port, “cannabilising” Maasvlakte I where ECT operates the ECT Delta and Euromax terminals.

But the port authority was cleared of any wrongdoing after the district court of Rotterdam has cleared it of abusing power when allocating sites for the second Maasvlakte last year.

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