The flow of containers to and from the Port of Rotterdam will expand in the next few years. This requires additional freights and movement per barge, as well as logistical headaches. Optimal logistics is currently a major challenge as schedules are currently not reliably implemented. Handling of inland container shipping in the port is normally long and delays between different terminals are fairly predictable. This can lead to a significant increase in processing time in the port. Because of this unpredictability barge operators have little control over the quality of service they provide their customers.
With effect from 2014 problems are expected to become worse as 2 new seaport terminals, APMT2 and RWG, will become operational at Tweede Maasvlakte. This will almost double the number of terminals and departure points for barges at Maasvlakte and as a result container flow will be further fragmented, which is an unfavourable result for both inland shipping and seaport terminals. There are also clear modal split ambitions: the share of barges must increase so that by 2035 a maximum of 35% of containers will be allowed to be transported hinterland by road. The establishment of a barge service centre is essential if the intention is for inland shipping to achieve a major share of the modal split.
Hinterland volume and modal split in the coming decades (based on Port Compass 2030 figures).