Rotterdam streamlines inter-terminal moves

23 Jun 2016
Container transfers between different Maasvlakte terminals to become easier

Container transfers between different Maasvlakte terminals to become easier

APM Terminals, ECT and RWG have made an agreement with the Dutch Tax and Customers Administration to end the requirement of physical customs documents in order to transfer containers from one Maasvlakte terminal to the other.

This ‘paperless transfer’ system aims to considerably reduces the administrative workload, particularly for shipping lines., and simplify the exchange of containers between terminals.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said: “Paperless transfers simplify the transport of containers from one terminal to the other and improve Rotterdam’s competitive position.”

“The next step will be the construction of the Container Exchange Route, which allows for the transport of containers between terminals via a closed system. According to our planning, this project will be rounded off within two years. The agreements presently entered into regarding paperless transfers will also apply to the Container Exchange Route.”

Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte has five deep-sea container terminals, containers that arrive at the one terminal regularly need to be shipped on via a different terminal.

This concerns many tens of thousands of containers every year, and with this total set to increase in years ahead, the participating terminals formed a solution.

European customs legislation recently started offering the option of transferring containers from one terminal to the other – under specific conditions – without further paperwork.

The Association of Rotterdam Shipbrokers and Agents (VRC), the participating container terminals of ECT, APMT and RWG, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have made agreements that are intended to take advantage of this new legislation and facilitate paperless transfers at the Maasvlakte area.

As of 1 July 2016, all five deep-sea terminals will be ready to implement the system. In addition, the concept may in time be rolled out to other container terminals in the port of Rotterdam.

Rob Bagchus, chairman of the Rotterdam Terminal Operators’ Association (VRTO), concluded: “The paperless transfer of containers between the different Maasvlakte terminals is important for Rotterdam’s position as a port. That is why the terminals have worked to realise this system as quickly as possible.”

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