FAST FORWARD SUMMER 2011
SYNCHROMODALITY IN PRACTICE BIG IN THE SHORT HAUL CAPACITY EXPANSION HIGHWAY A15
FAST FORWARD CONTENTS
Colophon Fast Forward, a business-to-business publication of ECT, appears three times a year. Please contact our
Communications Department with any questions or suggestions you may have regarding the contents. Copy Rob Schoemaker, Rob Wilken (editor-in-chief) Translation Niall Martin, Dean Harte Photography Eric Bakker (unless stated otherwise) Layout Ontwerpwerk, The Hague External coordination and printing RWP, Voorburg Chief editor ECT Rose Wiggers Europe Container Terminals (ECT) Europe Container Terminals (ECT) is the leading and most advanced container terminal operator in Europe, handling most of the containers at the port of Rotterdam. ECT operates three deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam: the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam (together with CKYH - the Green Alliance) on the Maasvlakte peninsula, close to the North Sea, and the ECT City Terminal in the Eemhaven close to the city centre. Through its European Gateway Services ECT offers customers a variety of services to facilitate the optimal flow of containers between the deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam and the direct European hinterland. In 2010, ECT handled more than 7 million TEU. ECT is a member of the Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group, a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL). HPH is the world’s leading port investor, developer and operator with interests in 51 ports, spanning 25 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa,
SYNCHROMODALITY IN PRACTICE
BIG IN THE SHORT HAUL
Europe, the Americas and Australia. HPH also owns a number of transportation-related service companies. In 2010, the HPH Group handled a combined throughput of 75 million TEU worldwide. No rights can be derived from this publication.
P.O. Box 7385, 3000 HJ Rotterdam, the Netherlands T +31 (0) 181 278 278 E firstname.lastname@example.org | W www.ect.nl E email@example.com W www.europeangatewayservices.com
“To ensure that Europe remains optimally accessible in the future, synchromodal transport is essential,” is the firm conviction of ECT’s Director Marketing and Sales Wando Boevé. “Via European Gateway Services ECT is already implementing the concept in practice for our customers.”
Maasvlakte Transport’s drivers are busy twenty-four hours a day ferrying containers between the large deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam and various facilities in the immediate vicinity. In the port the transport company smoothes the way for container logistics over small distances. On the road with truck driver Ron.
CAPACITY EXPANSION HIGHWAY A15 The capacity of the A15 motorway in the port will be expanded. Between now and the end of 2015, the A-Lanes A15 consortium will thoroughly restructure the road infrastructure. Director Erik Aal promises road users as little disruption as possible during these works.
THE ART OF LOGISTICS QUALITY MARK! At the end of June 2011, the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam were officially certified as Authorised Economic Operator (or AEO) by Customs. Both terminals at the Maasvlakte can consequently count on a significant simplification of customs procedures, allowing them to even better fulfil their role in global logistics chains.
NEWS PEOPLE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
A JOINT RESPONSIBILITY
EURO NORDIC SIZEABLE NICHE PLAYER
C.T.V.’S OPTIMAL DEPLOYMENT OF ROAD TRANSPORT
AIM: THE FIRST TIME RIGHT
ME AND MY VESSEL
SUSTAINABLE ECT SOON AVAILABLE: FAST FORWARD NO. 51 AS AN APP ON YOUR IPAD.
The art of logistics is like optimally fine-tuning all the cogs in a Swiss watch. This starts within the organisation itself. The core business of ECT is to quickly, efficiently and safely handle containers at our terminals 24/7 in a continuous flow. From the sea-going vessel via the stack to a following mode of transport and vice versa. Everything at ECT is geared to providing our customers with an optimum service and performance in this respect. As a logistics service provider pur sang, we however understand like no one else that we are also a prominent cog in the much bigger machine that is global logistics. It is especially for this reason that I am delighted that the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam were officially awarded the status of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) by Customs on the 30th of June 2011. It means Customs views us as a reliable partner, resulting in fewer administrative and physical inspections. Together with the growing number of companies around us which are also achieving the AEO status, this will in the future allow for the creation of fully AEO certified, and thus safe and efficient logistics chains. Because all the links in such chains are able to interact smoothly with one another - after all, there are no unnecessary inspections - containers can reach their final destination even more efficiently. It is for this very same reason that we are also fully focusing on European Gateway Services. Once discharged at our deep-sea terminals, containers can directly be transported by barge or rail to one of our inland terminals in the hinterland which function as extended gates. This can be done under our responsibility and customs license. It is not until the extended gate that the customer needs to take action to complete his customs formalities. Often close to the final destination, efficient onward distribution is next possible. Just-in-time is thus given actual meaning. It will not come as a surprise that ECT fully recognises itself in the advice of the so-called Topteam Logistics to the Dutch government to further strengthen the prominent position of the Netherlands in worldwide logistics. My fellow board member Wando Boevé explains this in greater detail elsewhere in this edition of Fast Forward. We are already bringing many of the recommendations of the Topteam Logistics - such as ‘synchromodality’ - into practice. Just like the interaction between the cogs in a Swiss watch, in all we do we always aim to work closely together with our customers and partners. In cooperation with them, we continuously endeavour to elevate the art of logistics to an even higher level. All with the primary goal of consistently offering you a truly exceptional service around the clock.
Jan Westerhoud President of ECT 3
TRUCK HANDLING ECT DELTA FURTHER SIMPLIFIED The handling of trucks at the ECT Delta Terminal has been further simplified. Since May 2011, truck drivers can arrange their administration through one single screen at the DIY desk at the reception building. A driver only needs to enter four items of information. After this, he collects his route plan and proceeds to the terminal. The procedures as regards to the incoming and outgoing inspection gates have also been improved. If a container has no further particulars the driver can arrange the inspection gate formalities himself and the inspection is carried out automatically. After this, he can continue. “This new approach really makes a difference,” comments a driver visiting the ECT Delta Terminal. “Especially because all the inspection lanes are now always open, you spend less time at the terminal.”
MAIDEN CALL HANJIN NETHERLANDS
This spring, the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam was visited for the first time by the Hanjin Netherlands, one of the Korean shipping line’s five new vessels with a capacity of 9954 TEU. Until recently, Hanjin used to name its ships after world cities but for the first time it has now decided to name ships after countries instead. For the Netherlands, it is an honour to be amongst the first five countries after which Hanjin has named a ship.
SUCCESSFUL PRESENTATION During last May’s Transport Logistic 2011 in Munich, Germany, European Gateway Services successfully presented itself to the logistics world. The new service of ECT offers customers reliable and sustainable hinterland transport through an increasingly expanding network of inland terminals. These act as extended gates for the deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam and are frequently connected to them by rail and inland s hipping. Rob Bagchus, Chief Public Affairs & Public Relations Officer of ECT: “At the fair, the entire logistics industry was able to familiarise itself with our distinctive services. There was great interest in our stand and many follow-up appointments were made.” Transport Logistic 2011 attracted over 51,000 visitors from 134 different countries.
In Memoriam Gerrit Wormmeester 1932 – 2011
RAIL TERMINAL WEST TO BE ADJUSTED
FAREWELL TO A VISIONARY AND PIONEER
ECT’s Rail Terminal West on the Maasvlakte is being readied for the coming-on-stream of Maasvlakte 2. In order to connect the rail terminal to this new port area which Rotterdam is currently creating in the North Sea, various infrastructural adjustments are needed. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is the principal of this substantial project at and around the rail complex and Dutch rail infrastructure manager ProRail bears responsibility for the execution. In general, rail customers of the Rail Terminal West will notice little to nothing of the building activities. ECT is doing its utmost to ensure that the handling of trains can always continue as smoothly as possible. Ultimately, the layout of the area will only become more efficient. The reconstruction is due for completion at the end of 2012.
It is with great sadness that ECT has learned of the passing away of Gerrit Wormmeester on the 8th of August 2011 at the age of 78. From 1970 to 1992, he headed our company for an impressive 22 years. Back when the container sector was still in its infancy, Gerrit Wormmeester was already contemplating large-scale container handling. Under his leadership, ECT saw tremendous growth, achieved a leading position in the port as regards the creation of new social relations and implemented one technological innovation after another. Gerrit Wormmeester was a visionary and pioneer who not only had great ideas, but also managed to successfully put them into practice. For example, he was the father of the ECT Delta Terminal, the first automated container terminal in the world which, twenty years after its start, is still leading.
MORE RAIL CONNECTIONS Since May 2011, the German rail operator Kombiverkehr has been directly connecting the ECT Terminals on the Maasvlakte with Dortmund in Germany’s Ruhr area on a daily basis. It is an extension of an already existing service of Kombiverkehr together with ECT between Rotterdam and the Ruhr area. On this so-called Betuwe Express, cargo for Duisburg (DeCeTe) and Dortmund was consolidated onto one single train. By introducing two separate trains, the capacity has doubled and turnaround times have improved as well.
And there are more new rail connections from the Maasvlakte. Initially with two departures a week, Ter Haak Intermodal has launched a rail shuttle to Strasbourg in the French Alsace. A new rail link initiated by Contargo between the Rotterdam Maasvlakte and the leading technology region of Karlsruhe in south-west Germany also runs twice a week. For logistics service provider Contargo, this new fast rail connection is an addition to its already extensive range of inland shipping services to and from this region.
Without Gerrit Wormmeester, ECT and the port of Rotterdam would not hold their current prominent position. Gerrit Wormmeester had a penchant for engineering and logistical concepts. In that, he however never lost sight of the human aspect. ECT and the international container sector will dearly miss him.
DHL NETWORK CUSTOMER EUROPEAN GATEWAY SERVICES DHL has recently become a network customer of European Gateway Services. The global forwarder is thus able to take full advantage of Rotterdam’s inland terminals in the Western European hinterland which function as extended gates for ECT’s deep-sea terminals. From now on, DHL books all its containers for these destinations (and vice versa) via EDI at the central booking desk of European Gateway Services. The containers are subsequently moved by barge or train to the hinterland by one of European Gateway Services’ logistics partners. Whenever possible, this transport is c arried out paperless and under the customs license and responsibility of ECT. Of course DHL can rest assured that the containers are always available at the requested inland terminals on time. What’s more, it is not until the inland terminal has been reached that the global forwarder needs to arrange the customs formalities for its cargo. For more information: www.europeangatewayservices.com
NEED A BREAK? Need a break from containers, containers and even more containers? As one of Hutchison Port Holdings’ global businesses, Grand Lucayan Resort on Grand Bahama Island is without a doubt the ideal destination for a holiday at any time of the year. Situated just 70 miles from the US Coast of Florida, Grand Bahama Island boasts a mix of historic charm and ecological wonders. Grand Lucayan sits at the heart of the island, fronting the clear blue Caribbean waters and an expansive 7.5 acre beach and, in 2010, was awarded a AAA 4 Diamond rating. Grand Lucayan Resort offers some outstanding amenities, such as two championship-quality golf courses, tennis courts, a spa and fitness center, world-class meeting facilities and a range of dining options. Visit www.grandlucayan.com for additional information.
FAST FORWARD SOON IN APP FORM ON YOUR IPAD
Loaded with extra videos and photographs, Fast Forward will from this current 51st edition also be available as an app for your ipad. The publication of this first digital edition is not yet fully in sync with the familiar paper version. Please check the Apple app store to see whether your free Fast Forward app is already available for downloading.
People make the Difference
The staff of ECT have already been meeting the needs of customers for almost 45 years. In this feature, they discuss their drive. This time, we talk to electricians Cor van Eldik and Ali Golay. The experienced Cor has been tweaking terminal equipment for more than 25 years now; Ali only recently embarked on his career in the port. Together, they work in a continuous shift at the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam.
Quickly solve any disruption COR “As electricians, we see to it that any disruptions to the equipment are solved quickly and absolutely safely. At such a huge terminal as the Euromax, there is obviously always something that warrants our attention. Our main job is seeing to it that the quay cranes and the Automated Rail Mounted Gantry cranes in the stack function properly. Occasionally, we also work on the Automated Guided Vehicles.” ALI “The biggest challenge is always when a ship is moored alongside the quay. In such high-stress circumstances, an unexpected problem definitely needs to be fixed so fast that the operations can continue with as little delay as possible.” Learning from each other ALI “Depending on what is most practical and efficient, we regularly work together on one job. I am still learning from Cor, especially in terms
of mechanical repairs. He has such a wealth of experience. Over the years, he has amassed quite a collection of useful spanners in his toolbox. These often come in handy in unusual situations. Together with another colleague, the three of us share one car for commuting. En route, we also regularly discuss solutions for workrelated matters.” COR “The sharing of knowledge and experience between all colleagues is very important anyhow. Ali for example knows more about software programs. I do understand how they work, but I am not as savvy as he is in that respect.” Variation and outdoors COR “What makes our work so attractive is the variation. This was even more so the case at the other ECT terminals where I worked. There, they have various types of quay cranes in use. Here at the Euromax, they are all
the same. That does make solving disruptions easier though.” ALI “What appeals to me is working outside. Just like Cor, I could never imagine an office job. Furthermore, the Euromax is one of the most advanced terminals in the world. In terms of technology, there is just so much to learn here.” Highest possible production COR “The Euromax Terminal aims to offer its customers the highest possible production. As round-the-clock service electricians, we have our own specific role. Besides fixing disruptions, this definitely also entails thinking about how problems can be prevented to begin with.” ALI “What we do here at ECT is a true team effort. Everyone has a role to play in order to achieve the desired production levels. Our work too is fully dedicated to the customer.”
European Gateway Services catches on
Synchromodality in Practice “It’s encouraging to see that the European Gateway Services concept we introduced full swing in 2010 has caught on so well - there’s a great deal of demand for it,” says the driven Wando Boevé. “More and more players leave a synchromodal organisation of their hinterland transport up to us. We’re given carte blanche to select the best transport combinations for the stipulated destinations and desired turnaround times: barge, train or - if time is short - truck.”
Open Network ECT’s European Gateway Services comprises a network of inland terminals which function as extended gates for the deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam and which are high- frequently connected with the seaport via rail and barge. What’s more, with supplementary customs services offered on these routes, customers can enjoy document-free transport under the aegis of ECT. Companies need only attend to customs formalities once cargoes arrive at the inland terminals. Boevé: “European Gateway Services is above all an open network. Our extended gates also link with other inland terminals in Europe via inland shipping and/or rail and are also connected to other deep-sea terminals than those of ECT, both in Rotterdam and elsewhere. The emphasis is on combining volumes. That’s the basis for synchromodality; it’s only then that high-frequency links via all modalities 88
become feasible.” As such, European Gateway Services is anything but a closed system belonging to ECT, Boevé emphasises. “Outside parties can participate in the network and organise connections; in fact that’s happening already. In such cases we only take care of the terminal handling.”
Forging Ahead and making Choices Further developing synchromodality forms an important element in the recommendations for bolstering the Netherlands’ global prominent position as a logistics hub, which were presented to the Dutch government by the so-called Logistics Top Team in June 2011. “It’s a fine report. Now it’s time to forge ahead, using this as a basis. In view of the limited resources it’s important to make clear choices,” says Boevé. The Strategic Logistics Platform, a multi-sector advisory body from the logistics business world initiated by the government, is set to play a key role in this regard. Boevé is one of the participants. “To ensure that the Netherlands becomes the world’s number one player in logistics (it’s now number four, ed.) we need to set clear priorities. As a cross-industry organisation, the Strategic Logistics Platform is ideally placed to do that. We have to make sure that the recommendations put forward by the Logistics Top Team don’t get bogged down in the
The new buzzword in European logistics is synchromodality. The concept is synonymous with the creation of an optimum flexible and sustainable transport system in which companies can choose from a range of modalities at any given moment. Companies are thus always assured of optimum transport combinations and can easily switch between modalities if necessary. “To ensure that Europe remains optimally accessible in the future, synchromodal transport is essential,” is the firm conviction of ECT’s Director Marketing and Sales Wando Boevé. “Via European Gateway Services ECT is already implementing the concept in practice for our customers.”
‘We need to set clear priorities’
i mplementation phase because of all kinds of sector-specific sub-interests. That’s not in the interest of the country as a whole.”
Cooperation with Universities Boevé is a keen proponent of close cooperation between the business community, the government and the scientific sector to take logistics in the Netherlands to a higher level. “That’s for example taking shape in the new Dutch Institute for Advanced Logistics, Dinalog. There priority is given to high-grade research projects based on the industry’s interests.” An additional plus-point of Dinalog in this respect is the rapid decision-making process. “There’s no interminable - and therefore costly - procedure prior to a project gaining the go-ahead, as often happens at the European level.”
Ready for Peak Loads There are more than enough challenges, Boevé says in closing. That holds true for ECT, for the Netherlands and for the world of logistics in general. “Take for example the continued scaling up in deep-sea container shipping. There are currently already dozens of vessels under sail with a capacity of 12,500 TEU and more and a multiple of such ships on order, including vessels of as much as 18,000 TEU.
“European Gateway Services is above all an open network.”
It’s generally assumed that these giants will only call at a few ports. That means huge call sizes, and so for terminals absolute peak loads. What we’re going to see in the future is that discharging 6000 containers as fast as possible and loading another 6000 increasingly becomes the norm. At ECT we’re prepared for that. On the sea side we offer unrestricted access to our terminals, a draught at the quay of up to 19.65 metres and the most up-to-date equipment. But on the landside the challenges are at least as great. The fast, efficient and sustainable handling of containers arriving all at once demands the best possible sustainable synchromodal transport system. With European Gateway Services we’re ready!” 9
Getting the Better of Peak Periods in Fruit Logistics
A Joint Responsibility Spring is a high season for fruit imports from overseas. With more and more fruit being shipped in containers, a combination of factors resulted in waiting trucks at the ECT City Terminal during peak moments this year. Reason for ECT and the trucking sector to get together for talks, along with the other links in the logistics chain. Hauliers’ representatives Wout van den Heuvel, René Sloof and René Lindeman and ECT’s Aad Scholten and Piet Hein Horstmeier c onclude that everyone realises that clever solutions are needed. “All parties have shown themselves willing to think about improvements.”
The trend is obvious. Increasingly, fruit imported from overseas travels in reefer containers rather than on pallets on board traditional reefer vessels. Situated close by the trade centres that supply the European market, the ECT City Terminal is ideally placed for handling these containers. During the recent peak season for overseas imports however, there were some frictions. The vessels of the various deepsea shipping lines all tended to call at the ECT City Terminal in the second half of the week. Due to wholesalers wanting to take delivery of their cargo as soon as possible after discharging, this led to huge traffic flows to the ECT City Terminal on Thursdays and Fridays in particular. On occasion that resulted in queues and irritated truck drivers.
Knowhow and Mutual Understanding Aad Scholten, General Manager ECT Services, and Piet Hein Horstmeier, General Manager ECT City Terminal, assure that ECT is constantly doing all it can to ensure a smooth handling on the landside of the terminal. “We’re continually investing, currently on the ECT City Terminal for example with the deployment of extra straddle carriers.” But René Sloof, transport entrepreneur and board member of the 2500-member proprietary hauliers association (Verenigde Eigen Rijders Nederland), transport entrepreneur René Lindeman and Wout van den Heuvel, Secretary of the sea container transporters body (Alliantie Zeecontainer vervoerders) that represents some 250 companies, didn’t see it that way in the spring of 2011. “There was every cause to sit down together and talk. It all starts with mutual understanding and knowing what’s going on. Our truck drivers waiting in the queue, for example, could see straddle carriers standing stationary, unmanned. What they didn’t know is 10
that these were being repaired. That way irritations grew; something that wasn’t conducive to the atmosphere on the work floor between ECT staff and truckers.” Lindeman adds: “Something had to be done.” He led by example, by joining in one of the shifts at ECT. “As a result I’ve gained far more understanding for the way in which the terminal functions. At the same time I’ve noticed how the mentality of a team can make a big difference when it comes to the level of service.”
Thinking Together ECT’s ambition is to ensure a smooth throughput at the landside at all times. The fact is and will remain however that when all the truck drivers arrive at once, this will not be possible. That’s why the terminal and the truckers have initiated round table talks with all the links in the logistics chain. Van den Heuvel: “The peaks in supply are a collective challenge. As road transporters, terminals, shipping lines, shipping agents and importers, we all have to think about what we can improve together.” A single, simple, all-inclusive solution doesn’t exist. Scholten: “At the moment, everyone is optimizing its own particular section of the logistics chain. That’s understandable, but for the chain as a whole it leads to a suboptimal situation.” One doesn’t have to look far for examples. At ECT and the hauliers themselves, but also at other links in the chain. Some wholesalers for example only stay open until 5 pm. The transporters can’t deliver any containers later than that time. Other companies have all the containers discharged from a particular vessel delivered to them direct in one go, while only a limited number of these containers are really urgent. At the terminal, container handling could be speeded up significantly if
From left to right René Sloof (transport entrepreneur and board member of the proprietary hauliers association Verenigde Eigen Rijders Nederland), Piet Hein Horstmeier (General Manager ECT City Terminal), Wout van den Heuvel (Secretary of the sea container transporters body Alliantie Zeecontainervervoerders), René Lindeman (transport entrepreneur) and Aad Scholten (General Manager ECT Services).
the plugs connecting the reefers in the stack to the power network were disconnected earlier. However insurance stipulations prevent this from happening. And what also happens now is that transporters are constrained to deliver empty containers to the ECT City Terminal on a Friday afternoon because of demurrage - the costs owed to a shipping line for the use of a container - only to have to return on Monday morning to pick up a new, full one. Waiving demurrage over the weekend would enable transporters to combine these tasks in a single trip.
reefer barge which connects the ECT City Terminal with Rotterdam Fruitport on the other side of the river. Further more, delivering an empty container and collecting a full one at the same block group helps as well. This is possible when a driver drops off an empty and then collects a full container from the same shipping line. Horstmeier: “In addition, we are quite advanced as regards the development of a fast lane. The idea is that if we know the pick-up time of a container, we can go ahead and already pre-stack it. This however requires an optimum exchange of data beforehand.”
Clever Solutions Required The round table discussions have certainly resulted in a greater mutual understanding. Sloof: “Everyone has shown themselves willing to consider alternatives. Parties realise that some clever solutions are required, including in their own section of the transport chain. All the cogs have to turn together.” And it’s not as if mega-ideas are needed. Horstmeier: “A hundred fewer containers during a peak period already makes a big difference to smooth throughput at the terminal.” By now, the first concrete actions have already become visible. At the block groups of the ECT City Terminal, where the trucks discharge and load their containers, a physically present coordinator sees to it that the flow runs as smoothly as possible. More parties are also making use of the weekly
Mental Shift Scholten: “What it comes down to is that we have to be able to rely on one another. Next high season we aim to be better prepared. Among other things via the round table sessions we will work to further level off the peaks.” And Van den Heuvel adds: “Everyone in the logistics chain can effect a slight improvement. Often it’s also simply a question of a mental shift. A small extra joint effort or change in your area of responsibility can result in a tremendous improvement for other parties in the logistic chain. In the end everyone will benefit. This is applicable for all levels; directors, managers, operators, supervisors, carrier drivers, truck drivers, agencies, desk employees etcetera should all work together and not against each other.”
European Gateway Services makes Logistics even Easier for Euro Nordic
Sizeable Niche Player
“Via European Gateway Services the containers are delivered to our warehouse door within 24 hours.”
“Moerdijk is a perfect location for us.” Managing director Kees Groeneveld of Euro Nordic makes no bones about it. “The port is situated just outside the busy, western part of the Netherlands, ideal as a point of departure for European distribution.” In Moerdijk Euro Nordic has its own warehouse of 40,000 square metres, situated directly behind the quays of terminal operators MCT for inland shipping and CCT for shortsea. “Thanks to the daily inland shipping links with Rotterdam we can effectively act as a deep-sea terminal. A major difference is that a container terminal with adjoining warehouse in Rotterdam doesn’t exist. Here in Moerdijk - 70 kilometres inland from the Maasvlakte we can drive the cargoes off the ship straight into the ware house. Without extra costs, customs documents, truck movements, physical operations or whatever. In the warehouse we subsequently provide storage for the customer and, if wished, added-value services such as repackaging. Next, distribution takes place on demand.” 12
Intensive Use European Gateway Services For some time now, European Gateway Services has been making the logistics for Euro Nordic even easier. Groeneveld: “The only thing we still have to do with the containers arriving by deep-sea vessel in Rotterdam is to tell ECT which ones need to go to Moerdijk. European Gateway Services makes sure that after discharging, these containers are directly placed at the correct location in the deep-sea terminal’s stack and sent on by barge to MCT, ECT’s extended gate here in Moerdijk at the first possible opportunity. Within 24 hours of being discharged in Rotterdam, the containers are delivered to our warehouse door. What’s more, for this transportation from the seaport we don’t have to draw up any customs documents. The containers travel under ECT’s customs permit.” The European Gateway Services package offers many advantages, Euro Nordic’s managing director says. “Previously there were several parties involved in the transport to Moerdijk and
Euro Nordic is a globally operating all-round logistics services provider, specialised in the transport and distribution of raw and semi-manufactured materials to and from Norway. In Rotterdam’s immediate hinterland, the inland port of Moerdijk is its key hub. European Gateway Services makes the transport of containers from ECT’s deep-sea terminals to Moerdijk even easier.
that meant that sometimes a container was mistakenly left standing on the quay. The fact that we no longer require customs documents avoids all the fuss there used to be in the past when you had twenty containers listed in the paperwork but you could only transport eighteen. What’s more, we’re now able to send back empty containers far more quickly, because MCT has its own empty depot.”
‘Customs documents are no longer necessary for transport from the seaport’
Moerdijk form a natural gateway to Europe and other overseas destinations.” In this context Euro Nordic also acts as agent for North Sea Container Lines (NCL), a shortsea/feeder company with a regular scheduled service between the Netherlands and a large number of ports on Norway’s south and west coasts. NCL calls at both CCT in Moerdijk and at ECT’s deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam. Groeneveld explains that Euro Nordic doesn’t only handle the outgoing export flows of Norway’s industries. “We’re also a hub for the import of raw materials for their production processes from China and Brazil, for example. Those raw materials are often stored here in Moerdijk and are subsequently delivered on demand to the plants in Norway.”
More in Containers Euro Nordic has several hundred containers a month transported via European Gateway Services from Rotterdam to Moerdijk. “It enhances our competitive position,” explains Groeneveld. “By using European Gateway Services we can offer attractive pricing and what’s more it’s good for sustainability. Inland shipping is a godsend in itself. Because of the increasing traffic on the roads, these days you can’t do more than two round trips Rotterdam - Moerdijk daily by truck. Ten years ago, you could still do three.”
Norway as Stepping-stone Euro Nordic was set up in 1999, in the first instance as a logistical services provider to Elkem, a Norwegian multi national specialised in the manufacture of a broad range of materials for industries all over the world. At the end of the twentieth century, the company decided to relocate all its logistics activities from Norway to the Rotterdam area. “These days Elkem only accounts for some fifteen percent of our activities,” says Groeneveld. “We have continually been expanding and currently work for countless other companies looking to logistics solutions for transport and warehousing of their products.” Norway does remain an important stepping-stone, however. “For Norwegian companies, Rotterdam and its extension
As a niche player in logistics services for raw and semimanufactured materials, Euro Nordic is seeing that these bulk-related product groups are increasingly being transported in containers. “These days Norway produces mainly high-grade speciality materials. For the most these are smaller loads that are excellently suited to transport by container. Furthermore, we’re seeing a growing trend away from receivers wanting to hold large stocks themselves. But more traditional bulk cargoes are also increasingly being deposited loose in containers. Anything’s possible, we’re in the business of always offering our customer a tailor-made solution.”
Want to know more about European Gateway Services? All the information about what European Gateway Services can do for you can be found on www.europeangatewayservices.com. You can also contact the European Gateway Services department, by telephone +31 (0)181 27 8195 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ECT Delta Terminal and Euromax Terminal Rotterdam acquire AEO Status
At the end of June 2011, the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam were officially certified as Authorised Economic Operator (or AEO) by Customs. Both terminals at the Maasvlakte can consequently count on a significant simplification of customs procedures, allowing them to even better fulfil their role in global logistics chains.
With their recently obtained AEO status, the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam are in good company. More and more companies active in the logistics chain are acquiring the customs certification and also expect the same from their business partners. Customs views AEOs as reliable partners which are consequently less affected by administrative and physical inspections. ECT holds a special position in that respect. As a terminal operator, it is an essential link in both the logistics chains of companies and in the European border inspections carried out by Customs. By forming closed logistics chains, ECT together with other AEO certified companies will be even better able to streamline transport in the future. Efficiency, speed and reliability will further increase.
Global Initiative The AEO programme is a global initiative launched to better protect the world against attacks and other terrorist threats.
‘Must for any Modern Company’ More than 500 companies in the Netherlands are currently AEO certified. Across Europe, this number is already about 7000, said Bert Wiersema, Regional Director Customs Rotterdam Port during the official presentation of the AEO certificates to the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam on the 30th of June 2011. “For a modern company, AEO is far more than an option: it is a prerequisite. Future facilitations in European customs regulations will always depend on a company having the AEO status. Whereas we as Customs currently still mainly focus ourselves on individual links in the AEO process, this will in the future be much more geared to the certification of entire chains.”
AEO certified companies have proven that their operations are in order. AEO with that is also a quality mark. In addition to Europe, there are comparable AEO initiatives in, for example, China, Japan and, under the name C-TPAT, the USA. The customs organisations involved are currently intensively negotiating about mutual recognition. Between Japan and Europe, this recognition has by now become a fact.
AEO is a global initiative Meeting Stringent Requirements As AEOs, the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam are in compliance with stringent customs requirements pertaining to the security of sites and buildings, the solvency of the company and the adherence to strict procedures and regulations. Achieving the required level was definitely more than a mere formality. Although ECT is a well-organised company, the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam went through an intensive internal audit process in order to qualify for AEO. Using the European guidelines for acquiring the AEO status, the complete organisation at both terminals was reviewed and where necessary adjusted in an extensive self-assessment. At the ECT Delta Terminal for example, this resulted in additional building security. What’s more, all procedures were updated and, if necessary, supplemented. It was not until ECT itself was fully satisfied that all facets of the AEO status were in order that it submitted its actual AEO applications to Customs. These were thoroughly audited by Customs several times. Customs also carried out a physical security inspection at both terminals. The final outcome was that both the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam officially acquired the status of AEO on the 30th of June 2011.
General Manager Philip Beesemer of the ECT Delta Terminal (r) and General Manager Francois Bello of the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam present the newly obtained AEO certificates.
Proactive Approach Obtaining the AEO status is not a given. Customs expects a proactive approach from certified companies in terms of security and wants companies to adhere to the agreedupon rules and procedures. The entire system is geared to companies themselves being sufficiently professional to further improve processes or take the appropriate measures if anything changes. An AEO has a great degree of own responsibility in that, although it is - of course - occasionally checked by Customs. The ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam have therefore explicitly turned the implementation of their AEO certification into an assignment for the entire organisation. By giving everyone an active role in this, ECT is actually able to positively distinguish itself as an AEO and thus further optimise logistics chains together with customers and partners.
Efficiency, speed and reliability further increase The AEO status will definitely gain importance in the future. The moment will come when specific countries will only allow doing business with AEO certified companies. Any company without certification will sideline itself. With that, AEO will even transform from a quality mark into an 足absolute necessity. As market leader, ECT is ready for this. Following the certification of the ECT Delta Terminal and Euromax Terminal Rotterdam, preparations are now also in full swing at the ECT City Terminal for acquiring the AEO status. Furthermore, ECT has the ambition to have its inland terminals AEO certified before the end of 2011 as well.
Big in the Short Haul Maasvlakte Transport’s drivers are busy twenty-four hours a day ferrying containers between the large deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam and various facilities in the immediate vicinity. In the port the transport company smoothes the way for container logistics over small distances. On the road with truck driver Ron.
Inspection Facilities and Distribution Centres “We get assignments from shipping lines, forwarders and other logistic services providers to take reefer containers with veterinary cargoes and suchlike to the inspection points of the new Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority. We do that both from the major container terminals on the Maasvlakte and from the ECT City Terminal. We submit a container to a nearby inspection point, wait for the inspection results and subsequently drop the container off at the ramp of the adjacent cold store, so that the cargo can be discharged. Empty containers we take back to the empty
depot. We work day and night; the hours that the inspection facility is closed for business we use to work ahead, putting new containers ready. Effectively we ensure a similar kind of flow between the container terminals on the Maasvlakte and a major distribution centre in the Distripark on the other side of the road. We transport full containers there to order, and we take the empty ones back. One of our drivers in a tug master takes care of the internal transport on site at the distri bution centre.”
To and from the Customs Scan “The biggest part of our work consists of transporting containers for the shipping lines between the ECT Delta Terminal and APMT on one side of the road to the customs scan on the other side. In the computer systems of both terminals we can see exactly which import and export containers have been selected by Customs for scanning. Via an internal route we ensure a steady stream to the customs site, driving the containers straight into the scanner. Import containers are always scanned within 24 hours of being discharged, but for export containers the timing depends on the ship’s departure time. Usually the
scan inspection and the results take around twenty minutes. If there’s nothing special to report we can take the container straight back. It’s all very efficient. Some containers are given a physical inspection. Then we drop the container off at the customs shed and customs officials notify us when they’re done. The customs scan works seven days a week. Saturday nights are reserved specifically for scanning export containers due to be shipped out on a Sunday. Customs wants to inspect these containers prior to departure. No problem for us, we’ll get on the road!” For more information: www.maasvlaktetransport.nl 17
Extension of Train and Barge
Optimal Deployment of Road Transport Transport company C.T.V. is a heavy user of the TCT Venlo inland terminal, ECT’s extended gate on the Dutch - German border. On behalf of its customers the company despatches as many containers as possible from Rotterdam via rail and inland waterway to TCT Venlo’s rail and barge terminal before transporting them onwards by truck for the ‘last miles’. Says C.T.V. director Jac Berden: “We deliver to destinations located deep in the German Ruhr region.”
“Our customers are the shipping lines and a range of different forwarders. C.T.V. arranges the entire journey for them, from the deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam until the final destination of the container here within a wide radius of Venlo,” says Jac Berden. The underlying principle is that the transport from Rotterdam to Venlo is always multimodal, going by train or barge. “We take care of the customs formalities for our customers, as well as booking the containers onto the trains and barges of ECT’s European Gateway Services and taking care of the onward transport by truck. Because we provide the entire package, we can work with optimum efficiency and are able to offer an attractive price. We handle around 200 containers a day. For that we have around sixty trucks permanently on the road in the region.”
Always Reliable and on Time C.T.V. is situated directly alongside the rail terminal of TCT Venlo. The area covered by the transport company runs from Venlo to Maastricht in the south and deep into Germany’s Ruhr region to the east. “Venlo is ideally situated in that regard. We deliver beyond Dortmund, Coblenz and Cologne. Coming from Venlo there are few - if any - problems 18
with traffic jams. Together with the reliable timetables for the trains and barges coming from Rotterdam and the fact that we can generally be in and out of the terminals at TCT Venlo within half an hour, we’re able always to deliver precisely just-in-time.”
Inland Shipping Additional Option C.T.V. experiences a great deal of added value from the barge terminal opened by TCT Venlo in early 2010 as a complement to the rail terminal. “The deep-sea terminals in the city area of Rotterdam - like the ECT City Terminal - don’t have a rail link to Venlo. Thanks to the newly-created inland shipping possibilities we can now also transport inter modally from this part of Rotterdam port to Venlo. Previously we were forced to do this entire route by truck. Moreover, for the large container packages we regularly transport from the deep-sea terminals on the Maasvlakte, inland shipping is an attractive option alongside rail.”
More Irons in the Fire C.T.V.’s services provision isn’t limited to the route between Rotterdam and Venlo. It also has a subsidiary located right alongside DeCeTe, the ECT inland terminal in Duisburg,
Jac Berden: “From TCT Venlo we’re able to deliver to the customer just-in-time with great precision.”
Maximum Use of Meuse River! Germany, that is specialised in the onward transport of containers arriving there by train and barge. From Duisburg C.T.V. distributes around 250 containers a day efficiently to their final destinations. Berden: “Moreover we have also teamed up with barge operator Danser to set up an inland shipping link between Venlo and Antwerp with two sailings a week. It goes without saying that those containers too, are handled via TCT Venlo.”
Close Cooperation Berden is happy with the close cooperation with TCT Venlo. “If there’s ever a problem, which seldom happens, then it’s quickly resolved. We realise that we share the same interests and that we need one another.” The services provision offered by ECT’s European Gate Services also dovetails seamlessly with C.T.V.’s requirements. That is for example true of the option whereby containers can be transported between Rotterdam and Venlo paperless and under the responsibility and customs license of ECT. “We’re currently making preparations for this. To delay customs formalities for our customers until Venlo will enable us to step up efficiency even further.”
The inland shipping route between Rotterdam and Venlo runs via the Waal and Meuse rivers. Along the Meuse part of this route, barges have to sail through two locks. Until last year access here was limited during weekends. From Saturday to Sunday and from Sunday to Monday the locks, which are managed by the state water authority Rijkswaterstaat, were out of operation. At the request of regional authorities and the private sector, the downtime from Sunday to Monday (17.00 to 06.00) has been waived since April 2010 by way of experiment. Jac Berden: “That offers important added value. Many large deep-sea vessels call at Rotterdam port in the weekends. A barge can now ensure that the containers discharged at the terminals in the city area of Rotterdam are available at TCT Venlo by six o’clock on a Monday morning.” For this reason Berden shudders to think what would happen if Rijkswaterstaat were to turn back the extended opening times for the locks when the pilot draws to a close in October 2011. “There aren’t any links by rail to Venlo from the Rotterdam city area,” he says. “That means that if barges can’t sail on Sunday nights because the locks are closed, our customers are going to ask us to again fetch the containers from Rotterdam by truck. They need those containers on a Monday morning. To my mind it’s obvious that once the pilot comes to an end, the operation of the locks from Sunday to Monday must become a permanent fixture. A different decision would run completely counter to government policy aimed at stimulating multimodal transport.”
The capacity of the A15 motorway in the port will be expanded. Between now and the end of 2015, the A-Lanes A15 consortium will thoroughly restructure the road infrastructure. Director Erik Aal promises road users as little disruption as possible during these works. “During the day, we will simply leave the lanes as they are right now; the A15 can be used as usual. And in the evening and at night, at least one lane will always remain open in both directions.”
The A15 is the lifeblood of the Rotterdam port. With cargo flows continuously on the up, a further capacity increase of this highway is absolutely essential. At present, the motor way which runs from west to east through the port is already very busy during peak hours. For a total contract sum of 1.5 billion euros, the A-Lanes A15 consortium (a cooperation between Ballast Nedam, John Laing, Strabag and Strukton) will therefore significantly expand the A15 in the port and also maintain the road until 2035. Director Erik Aal: “The contract includes major incentives aimed at keeping the inconvenience to road users to an absolute minimum during the works. We will therefore mainly work during the evening and at night from 22.00 to 05.00 hours. During the day, the entire A15 will be available for traffic as usual, without narrower lanes and speed restrictions. During the evening and at night, at least one lane will always remain open in both directions. We expect to only cause a minimal degree of extra inconvenience to the port. We have a good plan with a creative logistic planning.”
37-kilometre Stretch A-Lanes A15 will carry out its works across a distance of 37 kilometres, between the start of the Maasvlakte and the Vaanplein on the east side of the port, where the southbound A29 motorway meets the A15. Broadly speaking, the project can be divided into three segments. Least affected will be the segment between the Maasvlakte and the Thomassentunnel. Aal: “Officially, that segment is currently still a provincial N road. As part of our project, it will be upgraded to a national A motorway and fitted with dynamic traffic management by means of DRIPs (dynamic route 20
“We expect to only cause a minimal degree of extra inconvenience to the port.”
Capacity Expansion Highway A15 information panels, ed). The actual road layout here will not change though.” This is quite different for the segment of the A15 between the Thomassentunnel and the Botlek tunnel. Within the existing road layout, A-Lanes A15 will create a third lane in both directions here. These lanes will only be opened during rush hour, thus facilitating a smooth traffic flow. Furthermore, this section of the A15 will be equipped with dynamic traffic management as well.
‘During the day, the entire A15 will be available as usual’ In conclusion, the segment of the A15 between the Botlek tunnel and Vaanplein is where the most prominent changes will occur. In addition to the two times three lanes which are already there, four parallel lanes - two in each direction - will be added here for regional traffic. As the A15 will consequently become wider here, twelve new structural works (such as fly-overs) will be added and 36 existing infrastructural works will be adjusted. “The work on the south side is already underway,” says Aal. “To make room for the extra parallel lanes, various trees have been cut down. From September 2011, we will start depositing the sand which forms the foundation for the new lanes. These are factually the first activities on our part which are clearly visible to the outside world.”
New Botlek Bridge The construction of a new Botlek bridge is also part of the A15 project. The new bridge is to replace the current one, which constitutes an important alternative for road traffic on the A15 if the Botlektunnel is busy; what’s more, the route is compulsory for trucks carrying hazardous cargo. With fourteen metres, the new river crossing will be seven meters higher than the current bridge. As a result, traffic will spend less time waiting for the bridge to open and close for vessels. Furthermore, two 90-metre wide shipping lanes instead of one ensure that vessels can navigate the bridge faster. Both of the vertical lift parts can be raised up
to 45 metres. More important still is that the bridge will have double its current capacity with two lanes in each direction and a separate lane for slow traffic. The old bridge, which stems from 1955, only has two lanes, one in each direction. Aal: “We will construct the new Botlek bridge between the existing one and the Botlektunnel. The first piles will be driven into the ground in November 2011 and the bridge will be ready for road traffic at the end of 2014.” Trains will continue to run across the old bridge until the end of 2015. Rail infrastructure manager ProRail needs this time to equip the new bridge with rails and such. In early 2016, the old bridge can be demolished.
The Sooner the Better The entire capacity expansion of the A15 in the port is due for completion at the end of 2015. “Various segments will have already been completed sooner,” says Aal. “The new south-bound parallel lanes between the Botlektunnel and the Vaanplein, for example, will already be finished in mid-2014 and the north-bound parallel lanes at the end of 2014. The sooner we are done, the better it is for all parties involved.”
ECT stimulates Sustainable Accessibility With cargo flows continuously on the up, simply expanding the road capacity will not suffice to guarantee an optimally accessible port in the future. Within Rotterdam, various initiatives have therefore been launched to get as much traffic off the roads as possible or have traffic travel at other times than peak hours. (For more information see www.verkeersonderneming.nl). ECT is contributing amongst others by moving more than 1000 employees to and from its terminals 24/7 via collective company transport since 1993. Through European Gateway Services, ECT in addition stimulates the use of sustainable rail and inland shipping as much as possible (www.europeangatewayservices.com).
Aim: the First Time Right
ECT’s data exchange with customers and logistics partners has been electronic for years now. Even so, there is still room for improvement. On average, 300 out of every 1000 containers inputted into ECT’s terminal systems require amendments to data further down the line. That’s why ECT is taking steps internally and externally to further improve information quality. Providing and processing correct and complete information in one go results in greater efficiency for all parties involved and will lead to a further improved service and performance for customers at the terminals.
The electronic data interchange between ECT, shipping lines and logistics partners is conducted via various channels: bilaterally, via the extensive range of e-services on ECT’s website and via the Rotterdam Port Community System, Portbase. Unfortunately the quantity and the quality of the data don’t always match up. As a result the parties involved often still have to spend a lot of time adjusting, amending or supplementing data. Obviously that’s not in anyone’s interests. A correct and complete exchange of information in one go is beneficial to all. What’s more, at the terminals it eliminates the need for additional physical movements.
Tracking Down Causes, taking Measures In its ongoing drive to improve performance, ECT has initiated an extensive programme in recent months to track down the causes of misinformation and to take steps to improve the quality of information. The picture that has emerged is very diverse. Misinformation can originate very close by or on the other side of the world with a shipper 22
or cargo handling agent just typing in some wrong data. In between these two there are a host of other instances. Where these are related to external factors, ECT’s Gate and Administration Desk discusses them on a case by case basis with customers and logistics partners, assessing how improvements can be made so there’s no longer any need for reworking by any of the parties involved. Agreements have since been made with a large number of parties. After all, all those involved realise that incorrect and/or incomplete data exchange is also disadvantageous to them.
to continue its journey or by which mode of transport it will be shipped into the hinterland. That means that containers quite often have to be moved unnecessarily from one location to another in the stack. The more this can be avoided through close cooperation with the other links in the logistics chain, the better the service and performance for customers and logistics partners can become. It’s the very reason ECT is doing all that it can to ensure that optimal exchange of information becomes a true reality.
Improved Performance The data exchange improvement drive is in full swing. At ECT’s deepsea terminals it should lead to a sharp reduction in the number of alterations required after a container has been delivered. Due to a lack of information or incorrect data, currently some 300 process alterations on average are required per 1000 containers. For example, when a container arrives at the terminal, it’s currently not always clear on which deep-sea vessel it is set
• ECT is working together with all parties to improve data exchange • Complete in one go means greater efficiency for all • Accurate and timely information forms the basis for optimum service and performance
ME AND MY VESSEL There is little that can faze Alok Kumar, the Indian captain of the brand-new Cosco Glory; in his 38 years at sea, he has seen it all. Reefer ships, bulk carriers, oil tankers and, the last fourteen years, container vessels. Currently he is in command of the Cosco Glory which is on her maiden voyage. It is the first of a series of eight Ultra Large Container Carriers chartered by Cosco from Seaspan Corporation in Canada. The vessel was built in Korea and taken into commission on the 10th of June 2011. The ‘new ship’ smell is still so strong that the Indian/Filipino crew has hung sachets with herbs all over the ship. Most exciting experience at sea? “If anything, I try to avoid stressy excitement, although tricky situations pre-eminently constitute good learning moments. But my key job is to avoid these. Although a nice sunset can also still be very exciting. And it is always exciting to get to know a new ship. Seeing how she works and exploring all her possibilities. This ship is performing very well.” Why is captain the best job in the world? “You are in full control. Within the parameters imposed by the rules and regulations you have a tremendous amount of freedom. I love the
responsibility and am thankful for having been given the opportunity to do this work. The fact that safety has improved a lot as regards container shipping over the last decades is quite pleasant in that respect.” If I want to brag about this vessel, I say “The design of this vessel is a nice example of out-of-the-box thinking. Within its class of engine power, draught, width and height, this vessel maximises the loading capacity and this of course is also beneficial to the environment. An example: the forward position of the bridge limits the blind spot. Looking ahead, the blind spot must not exceed 500 meters, which
Cosco Glory FLAG Hong Kong LENGTH 360 metres WIDTH 48.2 metres TEU-CAPACITY 13,114 CREW 23 LOOP NE3 Service: Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Ningbo, Yantian, Singapore, Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Hamburg, Antwerp, Nansha, Hong Kong.
means that towards the sides, a ship must be loaded sloping, from high to low. Ergo: shifting the bridge more towards the front of the vessel, as is the case on the Cosco Glory, enhances the loading capacity. In addition, the ship is also slender which makes manoeuvring easier.” Nicest aspects of Rotterdam “It is the premier port of Europe; a lot is constantly invested in infrastructure. All parties involved are well trained. Being able to enter a port without restrictions is unprecedented. Further more, Rotterdam of course is a great bunker port.” Strong points of ECT “ECT is doing a great job. Besides that, Cosco is a partner of ECT within the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam. We can always count on excellent service.”
SUSTAINABLE ECT Examples of ECT’s Initiatives for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Carbon emissions cut by 11.5 million kilograms 32% fuel savings
Annual Diesel Consumption down One-third In the ongoing drive for greater efficiency and sustainability, the process control of all 265 Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) at the ECT Delta Terminal has recently been significantly improved. Says process manager Ton Gruijthuijsen: “The moment an AGV remains stationary for ten seconds underneath a quay crane or at a transfer point in the stack, the engine will from now on immediately shift down from high revs to low revs.” This process improvement at the ECT Delta Terminal was instituted in May 2011 and is expected to save around 32 percent of the AGVs’ total fuel use. As a result, emissions of carbon dioxide will also come down, by 11.5 million kilograms.
Gruijthuijsen explains that the process alteration will not affect the performance of the ECT Delta Terminal in any way whatsoever. “That was an absolute precondition and a reason for taking a meticulous approach: we have conducted extensive research. As soon as the first command comes from the terminal system, the AGV immediately swings back into action.” The accelerated gearing down of AGVs to lower revs has been customary practice at the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam for some time already. “The ECT Delta Terminal however has various types of AGVs in operation, with different software. That required more adjustments and - it goes without saying - extensive testing,” explains Gruijthuijsen.