The logistics surrounding the Port of Rotterdam are daunting. Eight deep sea terminals; 600 barges with 150 different owners; some 150,000 shippers from across Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany all relying on the port. The result is a fragmented and complex area - which especially affects the delivery of fresh produce.
Delivering fresh fruit, vegetables and other goods demands efficient, timely and reliable logistics chains. From the terminals to the importers' distribution centres to the local European consumers, clean lines of delivery are key.
It was that demand that led APM Terminals Maasvlakte II to develop a 'Cool Port' barge service which makes shipping in an out of the Port of Rotterdam efficient and reliable.
Daily barge service
The newly launched barge service is a dedicated daily fixed-time operation from APM Terminals operations in Rotterdam and Maasvlakte II to a cold storage warehouse and distribution centre established in the Waalhaven section of the Port of Rotterdam.
The facility, operated by Holland-based Kloosterboer, enables the more efficient distribution of products. Some 35km from the traffic-congested port area, it is more accessible to trucks carrying the temperature-controlled products to inland wholesalers and their ultimate destinations, the retailers.
Faster delivery means longer shelf-life
Containers using this service are now available at the Kloosterboer facility at 6am every day, enabling speedy pick-up and delivery by the port's customers. Less waiting time and better supply chain predictability increases the shelf-life of products.
“We can be sure that when the containers are discharged from the vessel, we can put them right on the barge. We have everything controlled so we know which containers should be loaded on the barge, so we can be very efficient with that,” said Roy De Haan, Head of Commercial Management at Maasvlakte II.
This collaboration with Kloosterboer also ensures that many of its customers start using APM Terminals Rotterdam and Maasvlakte II for their cargo. Direct links between the terminals and the Cool Port also enable real-time vessel arrival and container status for planning purposes.