Page 1



ULCS Terminal in Progress

Cross-border Advantages

Safe handling

of Hazardous Cargo


Fast Forward is also available as an app for the iPad and Android tablets. It can be downloaded in the Apple App Store and Google Play Market.

ULCS Terminal With the commissioning of five of the very largest quay cranes, the ECT Delta Terminal has confirmed its position as a prime location for handling Ultra Large Container Ships.


Safe handling of Hazardous Cargo

Cross-border Advantages

ECT has a highly professional organisation for handling containers with dangerous goods safely and efficiently at its deepsea terminals 24/7.

A new cross-border customs license makes the transport of Maxeda DIY Group’s cargo flows from Rotterdam via the inland terminal TCT Belgium even easier.

14 - 15

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.

20 - 21

4 News 7 People make the Difference

John van Geijtenbeek, Hans van Mullem and Frans Schets.

18 Innovation as Logistics Accelerator

ECT is continually aiming for innovative improvements to its services. The development of a discharge predictor was one of the issues addressed in the COMCIS project.

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 Rob Bagchus No rights can be derived from this publication. P.O. Box 7385, 3000 HJ Rotterdam, The Netherlands T +31 (0) 181 278 278 |  |

10 Gateway to the East

Osse Overslag Centrale (OOC) has become a new participant in the European Gateway Services network.

12 ShoreTension proves itself on the Job Terminals in Rotterdam, Sines (Portugal) and Esperance (Australia) are now structurally using ShoreTension.

16 ‘Be Good and tell it…’

“Making a strong sector even stronger,” is how Aad Veenman sums up his task as chairman of the Topteam Logistics. 2

22 Daily Barge Shuttle Maasvlakte ECT City Terminal Named City Barge, European Gateway Services now offers a daily port shuttle.

23 Me and My Vessel

Captain Tong De Chao of the Zhen Hua 26.

24 Behind the Scenes

Five new ultra-large quay cranes at the ECT Delta Terminal.


It is all about Scale Twenty years ago the APL China of 4830 TEU was the largest ship in the world. Just over ten years later, it was the 9449-TEU Cosco Guangzhou to call at the ECT Delta Terminal for the very first time. Nowadays Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCSs) of 16,000 TEU and more visit our terminals regularly and 18,000+ TEU vessels will be quite common soon. I think that only a few industries have seen such a strong increase in scale in such a short time – an increase which is still continuing. It makes our sector highly interesting, uniquely dynamic and especially challenging! The many research reports from the past which stated that container ships would not grow any further could easily fill a bookcase. 5000 TEU, 10,000 TEU… no, the container ship would really not become any bigger. How wrong they were. Fortunately, we as ECT have always pursued our own course. We have always looked ahead, anticipated properly or taken the initiative ourselves; the introduction of the automated container terminal in the early nineties of the previous century is a prime example in this respect. ECT has always


been ready for the big ship, regardless of what the definition of big was at the time. 2014 is no exception. In a short time, we have readied the ECT Delta Terminal to accommodate the latest generations of 18,000+ TEU vessels. The investments involved are extensively featured in this edition of Fast Forward. Within the large complex of the ECT Delta Terminal, not everyone will have noticed though that we in fact have created a completely new ULCS terminal. Had this been a greenfield investment, then it would have been one of the larger ones of its kind. ECT furthermore distinguishes itself by also looking beyond the quay. Through European Gateway Services, we have created a comprehensive hinterland network which is continually expanding. Both in terms of connections and services rendered. The ever-larger ships with matching larger call sizes can consequently rely on a true optimal service at our deepsea terminals. Not just between the ship and the quay, but also from the quay to the hinterland and vice versa. Through European Gateway Services, containers are always immediately moved in the most efficient and sustainable manner. What’s more, the entire process is controlled by our experienced operational staff who know how a terminal works and are aware of how important it is to flexibly anticipate the many changes that occur in the shipping sector every day. ECT continues to evolve. New equipment is steadily arriving. Meanwhile the next three ULCS cranes have now been ordered and will be delivered in 2015. European Gateway Services keeps on developing as well. So bring on those ULCS ships, no matter how big they become!

Jan Westerhoud President of ECT 3


On the 7th of April 2014, the 396-metre long CMA CGM Marco Polo took into use the renewed Amazonehaven. This 2400-metre long port basin on the south side of the ECT Delta Terminal was recently widened by 55 metres from 255 metres to 310 metres. With that, the Amazone­haven is now optimally accessible to the very largest container ships of 18,000+ TEU. The few nautical limitations that applied to these kinds of ships have been practically eliminated.

The widening of the Amazonhaven was a complex operation that commenced in 2010 with the relocation of the berths of neighbour-across-the-water EMO. Next, the old quays were demolished and replaced by 2400 metres of new quay walls; all the while, operations at the ECT Delta Terminal continued as usual. The works entailed an investment of € 200 million.

DIRECT TRAIN EUROMAX TERMINAL ROTTERDAM – DECETE DUISBURG Since early March this year, the Duisburg inland terminal DeCeTe has been operating a direct rail connection to the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam. Three times a week, the daily Betuwe Express between DeCeTe and the ECT Delta Terminal continues to the Euromax deepsea terminal. Companies whose containers are discharged and loaded at the Euromax Terminal can thus benefit from even faster and more reliable transit times between Rotterdam and Germany’s Ruhr region.


New Waiting Zones for Inland Shipping in Amazonehaven The newly-widened Amazone­ haven port basin on the southern side of the ECT Delta Terminal not only offers more possibilities for receiving Ultra Large Container Ships (see feature pages 8 and 9). A number of additional facilities have also been created for barges. Depending on their length, barges can now use eight to twelve additional waiting berths at the end of the port basin. The barges can if needed wait here before they take their place under the quay crane.

Green Rail to Germany The power supply of the dedicated Betuweroute freightonly rail link that connects the ECT terminals on the Maasvlakte over a distance of 150 kilometres to Germany is now completely green. Since the beginning of 2014, the rail companies using this freight link have collectively purchased wind energy to power their electric locomotives, further boosting the sustainability of their hinterland transport. In 2013 no fewer than 21,000 freight trains made use of the Betuweroute railway, so eliminating the need for more than one million trucks. Since the Betuweroute freight-only link was opened in 2007 it has carried more than 100,000 trains.

News DUTCH PRIDE The Ultra Large Container Ship (ULCS) COSCO Netherlands has been a regular visitor to the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam since the beginning of this year. It’s always extra special when a ship pays a visit to the country after which it has been named. The COSCO Netherlands measures 366 metres in length, is 52 metres wide and boasts a capacity of 13,368 TEU. It’s the fourth in a series of eight ULCS vessels of COSCO named after European countries.

WORLD NUMBER ONE SHIP FOR REEFERS The Euromax Terminal Rotterdam welcomed the Cap San Lorenzo for the first time on March 19th this year. This vessel, part of shipping line Hamburg Süd,

measures 333.2 metres in length, is 48.2 metres wide and has a capacity of 9600 TEU. It boasts no fewer than 2100 reefer connections, making the

Cap San Lorenzo the world’s biggest vessel in terms of reefer capacity.

Netherlands among Top-Three International Trade Countries The Netherlands is among the leading countries in the world in terms of best facilities for international trade. This becomes apparent from the biennial Enabling Trade Index, published by the World Economic Forum. This index measures the openness of the economies of 138 countries. Like previous years, Singapore and Hong Kong topped the list. The Netherlands moved up from tenth place in 2010 to seventh place in 2012 and third place this year. The Global Enabling Trade Report, of which the index is part of, praises the Netherlands for its port and ICT infrastructures and the quality, transparency and efficiency of customs and related services.


News New Direct Feeder Connection to Baltic

FOUR TIMES A WEEK ROTTERDAM – SOUTHERN GERMANY The frequency of the direct rail connection between Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte and Nuremberg and Munich in Southern Germany has been upped from three to four departures a week. In addition to Monday, Wednesday and Friday the train will now call at both southern German cities on Thursdays as well. The inland terminal hubs in these cities – TriCon in Nuremberg and Munich Riem – offer countless onward connections. The direct rail link between Rotterdam and southern Germany is a joint initiative of European Gateway Services and TX Logistik. Cargoes leaving Rotterdam on day A in the evening can be at the doorstep of any company in the Nuremberg and Munich

region early in the morning on day C. Similarly short transit times apply in the opposite direction. Additional advantages are the lower terminal handling charges in Rotterdam and the customs and tax incentives the Netherlands offers for imports. Unlike in

From a Sheet of Steel to AGV The ECT Delta Terminal is currently taking delivery in batches of the 84 hybrid Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) it earlier ordered from Dutch manufacturer VDL. These AGVs, which will replace first-generation vehicles, are twice as fast, suited to twin carrying and also substantially cleaner due to their hybrid engines. In the new edition of the Fast Forward app you can view a video on the manufacture of these new AGVs, from their beginnings as ‘ordinary’ sheets of steel right up until they are taken into use on the terminal. The Fast Forward app can be downloaded free of charge from the Apple App Store and Google Play Market. 6

Germany, companies need only pay VAT on delivery of the cargo to the end customer rather than on arrival in port as point of entry to the European Union. Given the large sums of money involved in VAT payments, import via the Netherlands thus offers a substantial cash flow incentive. Bookings for the Rotterdam Nuremberg/Munich train can be made via European Gateway Services’ Central Booking Desk, telephone 31 (0) 181 27 8308, email:

As of May 2014, X-Press Feeders offers a new, direct feeder connection between ECT on the one hand and Russia (St. Petersburg, Ust-Luga), the Baltic States (Tallinn) and Finland (Kotka, Helsinki) on the other. With two sailings per week, the new feeder service guarantees fast transit times from Rotterdam – the preferred first European port of call – towards the Baltic. In the opposite direction, an optimal connection is also created with Rotterdam as the last port of call before deepsea ships depart Europe again.

Get Fast Forward on your Tablet This issue of Fast Forward is also available as an app for your tablet. In addition to the regular content, the app offers extra’s such as a video showing the manufacture of ECT’s new hybrid AGVs, footage of the arrival of the five ULCS quay cranes and an impression of the inland terminal Osse Overslag Centrale. Don’t have Fast Forward on your tablet yet? You can download the app free of charge in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Market.

ECT’s staff have already been meeting the needs of customers for more than 45 years. In this series they reveal their drive.

People make the Difference

At the ECT Delta Terminal, final preparations are made for taking into operation five new ultra-large quay cranes for handling the biggest deepsea vessels of 18,000 TEU and more. Three closely involved employees talk about their role in further improving ECT’s service and performance with the aid of this new equipment.

GOOD TECHNOLOGY PAYS FOR ITSELF “For many years I’ve been thinking about smart solutions to get quay cranes functioning just that bit better every time. Good technology pays for itself. With each new project you build on the experience of previous ones. These cranes are once again higher, with a longer outreach and able to lift heavier loads.” FRANS SCHETS (59) TECHNICAL SPECIALIST MECHANICS

FURTHER BOOSTING PRODUCTION “The new cranes are the culmination of more than 30 years of experience. They incorporate all kinds of technical innovations that will further boost production, such as an active skew that prevents the spreader from swaying and a snag system to protect the crane against overloading. Easy maintenance has also been a consideration from the start.” HANS VAN MULLEM (57) TECHNICAL SPECIALIST ELECTRONICS

THE BEST POSSIBLE CRANE “I have overall responsibility for the realisation of these semi-automatic cranes: from the drawing table and the preliminary specifications to putting them into operation. The design combines a wealth of experience of ECT’ers like Hans and Frans with new developments. Our goal is to deliver the best possible crane for handling the big vessels at the ECT Delta Terminal.” JOHN VAN GEIJTENBEEK (45) SENIOR CONSULTANT



With the commissioning of five of the very largest quay cranes for the handling of deepsea vessels with a capacity of 18,000+ TEU, the ECT Delta Terminal has confirmed its position as a prime location for discharging and loading Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCS). Four ULCS berths – three on the south side, one on the north side – and plenty of space for ‘smaller’ ships of, for example, 10,000 TEU are a clear answer to the continuous scaling-up in the shipping sector.

The current expansion of ULCS berths required more of ECT than merely purchasing five quay cranes. The port basin on the south side of the ECT Delta Terminal – the Amazonehaven – has recently been widened by 55 metres from 255 metres to 310 metres almost across its entire length of 2400 metres. Philip Beesemer, General Manager of the ECT Delta Terminal: “This means that from the 1st of April 2014, the Amazonehaven can fully accommodate the ships of 18,000+ TEU which will become quite common in the near future. The nautical accessibility of the south side of the ECT Delta Terminal is now in line with that of the other port basins at Maasvlakte 1 + 2. This has been confirmed through extensive simulations together with the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Rotterdam pilots at the laboratory of MARIN (Marine Research Institute Netherlands).” 8

More New Equipment Arriving In the meantime, plenty of other equipment that will increase the capacity of the ECT Delta Terminal is also being delivered. The first three of eleven new, one-over-five Automated Stacking Cranes (ASCs) have arrived to enlarge the stack capacity. The first batches of previously ordered 84 hybrid Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are already in full operation. Beesemer: “The new AGVs are more sustainable and faster than the predecessors which they replace. Moreover, they are suitable for twin carrying.”

Central Control as of 1st of May As of the 1st of May 2014 operations at the ECT Delta Terminal will be centrally managed. All the planning and control activities for the Delta Dedicated North Terminal, Delta Dedicated East Terminal, Delta Dedicated West Terminal and


landside will be centralised on the first floor of Building 21. Beesemer: “Through this centralisation and the ability to control the operational and logistic process at the Delta peninsula as one single terminal, customers will be able to optimally benefit from all our available capacity on both the seaside and the landside.”

Three Additional ULCS Cranes The ECT Delta Terminal will continue to evolve, expects Beesemer. “Both in terms of control and equipment. Many of the ASCs and AGVs on order have yet to arrive. And in the course of 2015, we are expecting the next three additional ULCS cranes, suitable for handling vessels of 18,000+ TEU.”

‘The nautical accessibility of the south side of the ECT Delta Terminal is now definitely in line with that of Maasvlakte 2’


Gateway to the East Situated some 125 kilometres east of the Maasvlakte, Osse Overslag Centrale (OOC) has become a new participant in the European Gateway Services network. A barge connection to Rotterdam is operated daily. The inland terminal stands out through its range of activities in addition to the regular handling and storage of containers.

European Gateway Services, OOC and inland shipping operator Danser Containerline have forged a separate partnership for the operation of the daily connection between Oss and Rotterdam: Oss Container Barging. Within this partnership, two barges will operate a continuous service between all the container terminals in Rotterdam and OOC, which is situated on a tributary of the Meuse River. Says Paul Zoeter, European Gateway Services’ Network Manager: “European Gateway Services aims for building a network; en route from Oss to Rotterdam one the barges therefore also calls at the MCT inland terminal in Moerdijk.”

Oss, there’s always a large number of reefers that come free. Instead of being transported empty to Rotterdam, some of these reefers are now repositioned to us for direct exports. That way we can save on unnecessary transport. Within the European Gateway Services network we aim to create a sustainable fresh corridor between Rotterdam, Moerdijk, Oss and Venlo and vice versa.”

‘We’ve been able to boost the use of barges by ten percent’

Strong Focus on Reefers “OOC is currently especially a strong player in export flows,” says director and owner Eric Nooijen. Alongside the regular containers, the inland terminal handles a large volume of reefer cargoes. “Customers use us to transport their chocolate, meat, vegetables, juices and more. Our terminal boasts 70 reefer connections. In collaboration with reefer specialist Smith Holland we’re able to offer everything in the way of pre-trip inspections, maintenance and repair. We’ve built up twelve years of experience in the careful handling of reefer containers, and we work hard to further develop this reefer market segment.” European Gateway Services’ network can play an important role in this, and not only for the transport of reefers to and from Rotterdam. “At the TCT Venlo inland terminal, 80 kilometres south of

Leading the field in LNG Sustainability is a major factor for OOC and its customers. Nooijen: “The pre- and onward transport we offer to our customers is executed on our behalf by neighbour Vos Logistics. Half of their fleet already comprises ultraclean LNG trucks. What’s more, we’re already fully equipped to receive LNG powered barges. We’re the first inland terminal in Europe to have gained a permit enabling these ships to fill up here with LNG.”


Bulk in Containers The area in which OOC finds its reefer customers largely corresponds with the natural limits governing any inland terminal in terms of geographical scope. Nooijen: “For us that’s a customer area stretching some 50-60 kilometres to the south, the north and the east.” However, OOC’s reach extends far beyond that for its bulk activities. The company has a bulk terminal situated almost directly alongside its container terminal. This proximity has prompted it to specialise in the containerisation of bulk cargoes for customers and to transport these containers by barge to Rotterdam, from where they can be exported by the major deepsea shipping lines. “Those bulk flows originate from round here, but also from much further away in Europe,” says Nooijen. “For example, we have substantial flows of scrap cargo arriving in bulk from Eastern and Southern Europe. At our inland terminal we carry out the quality controls and subsequently load this scrap into containers bound for Asia.” For other types of bulk cargoes this service by OOC works just as well, also in the opposite direction into the European hinterland. “We’re equipped with impermeable terminal floors, we have several silo’s, plenty of covered storage space and lots more.” Nooijen sees a lot of growth potential for these types of activities. “A key contributing factor is that our inland terminal in Oss is not only accessible by inland waterway – barges up to 180 metres, water depth of 4 metres – but also by rail.”

Eric Nooijen (r) and Paul Zoeter: OOC represents a welcome addition to the European Gateway Services network.

‘OOC’s hub function for transhipment of bulk to containers and vice versa has real growth potential’ Combined Trains for Continental and Maritime Cargoes? Rail is also set to offer more opportunities for container transport. National rail infrastructure manager ProRail is currently investing seven million euro’s for further upgrades in the Oss region. Nooijen: “We are seriously looking into the possibility of starting one or more intermodal rail services to, for example, Berlin, Poland, Hungary and Italy, with our terminal as start and end-point.” For OOC, this initially would involve continental cargoes. But, adds Paul Zoeter: “Such initiatives fit perfectly with European Gateway Services’ aim to further expand its network. Maritime cargoes would then be transported between Rotterdam and Oss by barge, before continuing their onward journey by train – or vice versa, of course.” Both men agree that combining continental and maritime cargoes in such a way offers an ideal approach for really getting rail connections up and running.

96 Percent by Barge Zoeter: “All in all, OOC represents a welcome addition to the European Gateway Services network. In terms of catchment area there’s no overlap with other participating inland terminals. What’s more, OOC’s hub function for transhipment of bulk to containers and vice versa has real growth potential. We certainly aim to make OOC an extended gate of the ECT deepsea terminals in the future, which would allow us to offer paperless transport from Rotterdam.” Nooijen is also pleased. “Organising our inland connections in this way results in increased efficiency and reliability. We’ve already been able to boost the use of barges by ten percent. Of all our containers transported to and from Rotterdam, 96 percent now goes by barge.” See more of OOC on the free Fast Forward app which you can download in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Market.


ShoreTension proves itself on the Job ShoreTension is increasingly gaining recognition the world over as an effective and flexible instrument for safely mooring vessels and increasing productivity. Recent users for example include the PSA terminal in the Portuguese port of Sines which purchased and commissioned six devices and the port of Esperance in Western Australia which decided to lease four ShoreTensions. Furthermore, the three-year ROPES research project has confirmed the added value of the active mooring system in its final conclusion as well. ShoreTension is now clearly beyond the trial stage. Terminals in Rotterdam (ECT), Sines (Portugal) and Esperance (Australia) are structurally using the stand-alone, active mooring system to ensure that ships remain firmly anchored to the quay. Other ports are also highly interested. And the devices are regularly being used on a project basis as well. 12

Requests for application come from everywhere – from nearby places like the Netherlands and Germany, but also from Africa and Asia – and for example involve providing assistance to moor offshore installations and floating structures or unload container cranes.

Safety and Productivity The ShoreTension concept was initially developed to increase safety. Traditional mooring methods using mooring lines on bollards always result in a certain degree of slack. In exceptional circumstances, the vessel movements this generates may result in forces strong enough to snap the mooring lines and unsecure ships, with all the potential, dramatic consequences this entails. The ShoreTension system prevents this by controlling the actual line tensions; paying out to prevent peak loads and reeling in at low loading. This ensures that a vessel remains securely moored at all times. In strong winds – relevant to Rotterdam and neigh­ bouring ports, for example – or in combination with swell from the ocean, a factor especially relevant in more southerly ports.

Photo Chris Clement, KRVE

Besides safety, ShoreTension has meanwhile also explicitly demonstrated its added value in terms of increased productivity. The fact that a ship is moored alongside the quay with greater stability allows for smoother crane operations and prevents damage. The same applies to offshore installations and floating structures, which can spend anywhere from weeks to months in a port for maintenance and rely on stability for continuous and smooth operations.

Confirmed by ROPES Project The functioning of ShoreTension has also been confirmed in the ROPES Joint Industry Project (JIP) which was completed in November 2013. In this research project, 26 companies worked closely together for three years to investigate the effects of passing ships on moored vessels. Participants included ports, research institutes, consulting firms, pilots, suppliers, vessel operators, terminal operators and boatmen. ECT and the Royal Boatmen’s Association Eendracht (KRVE) were also among the participants. The effects of passing vessels were measured both with and without the use of ShoreTensions. Henk van den Boom, Head of the Trials & Monitoring Department of MARIN, one of the world’s leading maritime research institutes and co-ordinator of ROPES: “The loads excited by water drawdown due to passing ships on moored vessels is a globally growing issue. Ever larger ships, swift handling in exiting ports and the need for additional berths along waterways mean that moored vessels are more exposed to the effects of passing ships.” Here too, safety and productivity are the leading factors. “Passing shipping traffic causes a moored ship to move, resulting in downtime for operations. Eventually, mooring lines can part which clearly jeopardizes the safety of people, ships and the environment.”

The Human Factor “Keeping a ship tightly moored alongside the quay is not as straightforward as one may think,” Van den Boom explains. “Quay constructions and traditional mooring equipment are limiting factors. For a long time, mooring methods have not evolved in line with the ongoing scaling-up in shipping. The human factor also plays a role here. Aboard moored vessels, there is often insufficient knowledge and time nowadays to monitor the tension of mooring lines, resulting in slack.” ROPES has thoroughly mapped the effects of passing vessels. Extensive scale-model tests were conducted and actual line

load and ship motion measurements were taken at four locations in Rotterdam, including the ECT Delta Terminal. Furthermore, a computer model was developed which calculates the forces excited by passing ships on moored vessels. “Comparing laboratory tests, field tests and computer data, it became apparent that the software yields the acceptable results for most practical cases. This makes the ROPES software an important future tool for port designers and engineers, for port authorities – for example to determine a maximum sailing speed – and for terminal operators to compute the uptime of their operation at a specific location.”

ShoreTension makes World of Difference “The ROPES project has also evaluated how the effects of passing vessels can be mitigated,” continues Van den Boom. “This is where active mooring systems such as ShoreTension enter the picture. At two locations, we compared the measured line loads and motions both with and without the use of ShoreTension and we found that the system significantly reduces the horizontal ship motions.” The MARIN spokesman is also enthusiastic about the simplicity of the ShoreTension system. “It can easily be used in existing situations and in theory it could be installed within a few hours through one single phone call.”

‘We found that the ShoreTension system significantly reduces the horizontal ship motions’ The ShoreTension system is also part of a new, joint industrial project off the coast of West Africa which will commence in September 2014. Van den Boom: “Offshore ship-to-ship transfer is increasingly becoming an attractive option here for both dry bulk and containers as vessel sizes increase and access to ports is restricted. However, West Africa is affected by long swells which travel all the way from South America. The waves may be low, but they do cause resonant horizontal motions of ships in their mooring system. In the so-called Transwell JIP, we will study this swell and the requirements for a high uptime of transhipment offshore. Subsequently, a concept for an offshore transhipment platform will be developed. An active mooring system such as ShoreTension can play an important role in the feasibility of the concept and help to increase the uptime of transhipment by reducing motion and mooring loads.”

More about ShoreTension ShoreTension is an invention of the Royal Boatmen’s Association Eendracht (KRVE), the boatmen of the port of Rotterdam. The active mooring system is globally exploited by ShoreTension Holding, a joint venture of All-round Port Services (the pension fund of the boatmen) and ECT. More information: You can also see the ShoreTension in action here.


Safe handling of Hazardous Cargo Practically anything you can think of is transported in containers nowadays – including hazardous cargo. Such transport is of course subject to strict requirements and regulations. In keeping with the spirit of these rules and regulations ECT has a highly professional organisation for handling containers with dangerous goods safely and efficiently at its deepsea terminals 24/7. In the unlikely event of an incident, ECT’s own Hazardous Cargo Officials are able to intervene immediately in the right way.

“No more than some four percent of all containers passing through ECT’s three deepsea terminals contain hazardous cargo,” is how ECT’s Environmental Manager Stef Capelle puts the size of this specific goods flow into perspective. It’s a goods flow that is governed by strict safety regulations all the way through the entire logistics chain. On land this is the task of the national government. For both transport and storage, the various classes of hazardous goods are subject to clear regulations for packaging, labelling, accompanying documentation, required qualifications for truck drivers and more. Sea transport is governed by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) which is part of the SOLAS treaty (Safety of Life at Sea). This detailed ordinance from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) also includes regulations for the stowage on board the ship. Capelle: “The transport of dangerous goods is a joint responsibility of everyone involved in the logistics chain. Each party has his own role to play. At ECT, we need to be able to rely on the information we receive from previous parties in the chain.”

with combustible gases. We’ve resolved this issue by positioning them respectively in the even and odd numbered stacking lanes. In addition, there are specific regulations pertaining to, for example, containers holding bromine or chlorine. Such containers must always stand on the ground in order to avoid any risk of falling.” Containers holding explosives or radioactive material have to be stored separately, away from the stack. “We have special locations for such materials at each of our terminals,” says Capelle.

Each Container handled with Equal Care

‘Each of ECT’s three deepsea terminals has its own team of Hazardous Cargo Officials’ Clear Regulations The way in which terminals are required to handle containers with hazardous cargo is obviously also strictly regulated. Capelle: “The containers concerned are always positioned on the outside of the stacking lanes. This facilitates the execution of possible government checks and allows an adequate response in the unlikely event of something having gone wrong. What’s more, containers with combustible liquids are never allowed to be positioned next to containers 14

“The handling of each container with hazardous cargo in the required way has been completely integrated into our terminal operating system,” the Environmental Manager continues. “When such a container comes in, its location in the stack is determined fully automatically on the basis of the accompanying information. In that way any possible misunderstandings through human error are ruled out.” For the rest, the terminal logistics for containers with hazardous cargo doesn’t differ from that of ‘normal’ containers. “ECT handles every container with equal care, regardless of its contents.”

On Site 24/7 Even so, ECT would never and cannot afford to assume that all containers with hazardous cargo will always be handled

Hazardous Cargo Officials are quick to act in the event of an incident.

without any problems just like that. The smallest factor could lead to a possible incident, such as slowly leaking packaging due to unforeseen circumstances, for example. For this reason each of ECT’s three deepsea terminals has its own team of Hazardous Cargo Officials on site 24/7. Capelle: “And I really mean 24/7; even on the two days a year that our terminals are closed – Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve – the Hazardous Cargo Officials are at work as normal. In the Netherlands we at ECT are unique in that respect.”

These inspectors visit the terminals daily for random checks and risk analysis-based monitoring of packaging, labelling, documents etc. “On the customer’s instructions any short­ comings can be remedied directly, supervised by our staff. That might be replacement labelling, but it could also involve the repackaging of cargo where necessary. We have the permits to carry out such work and all our terminals are equipped with special liquid-proof floors where the work can be carried out under the supervision of our Hazardous Cargo Officials in accordance with a strict protocol.”

Well-prepared for their Task

Effective Response to Incidents

Becoming a Hazardous Cargo Official at ECT requires many years of experience in the regular terminal operation. A basic requirement for anyone making the move is that they are able to operate all the terminal equipment, also in unusual circumstances wearing breathing equipment. Even more important is that one can only claim to be a real Hazardous Cargo Official after a six month training course (regularly repeated) in knowing and recognising dangerous goods, supplemented by a full fire fighter’s course and first aid training. “Luckily much of the staff’s work is focused on prevention. They monitor whether the stack is built up correctly, carry out gas measurements, check permits and so on.” The staff also maintain contact with the government inspectors (from the Environment and Transport department).

Of course the Hazardous Cargo Officials are quick to act in the event of an incident. Capelle: “In such cases it’s all about first identifying the substance that is leaking, stabilising the situation and directly alerting the appropriate external agencies such as the fire brigade, environmental agency and inspection service.” An ancillary task is to ensure that regular terminal operations suffer a minimum of disruption and can proceed as normal. To this end each ECT terminal is equipped with special leakage bins, for example. A 45 foot container fits easily into one of these purpose-built oversized flats. “That means that we can quite easily remove a leaking container from the operation and take it to a remote location for resolving the problem. That way the handling of a vessel can proceed without interruption.” 15

‘Be Good and tell it…’ “Making a strong sector even stronger,” is how Aad Veenman sums up his task. The former top man of Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways) is chairman of the Topteam Logistics in which leading representatives from the fields of business, government and academics are jointly taking the initiative to implement a highly comprehensive action plan aimed at making the Netherlands the global leader in logistics.

In 2010, the Dutch government formulated a policy to make nine so-called top sectors even stronger; logistics is one of them. With the two main ports of Rotterdam (sea) and Schiphol (air), the excellent European hinterland connections, an attractive business climate, a pro-active Customs regime and a wide range of logistics service providers, the Netherlands has acquired a solid global position. There is still room for improvement though. In 2011, the ambitions for the top sector logistics were presented in a strategic action plan and next laid down in concrete roadmaps. Through the Topteam Logistics, a highly diverse group of decision-makers from the fields of business, government and academics have committed themselves to ensuring the action plan becomes a success. According to chairman Aad Veenman, the team use a layered approach to achieve their mission. “The first layer we started working with consisted of the 30 top logistics companies in the country such as ECT. In their wake is a group of about three hundred companies which are leading in new developments as well; this is more or less the phase we are currently in. In the near future, some 3000 companies will follow, after which another 30,000 companies will also be able to make use of what is currently being developed.” Veenman uses a broad definition of the logistics sector. “Logistics is also an integral part of the operations of, for example, Heineken or a hightech company like ASML.”

‘We are really noticing that the concept of synchromodality works’ More Efficiency, Lower Carbon Footprint According to Veenman, the major goal of the Topteam Logistics is increasing efficiency whilst simultaneously reducing carbon footprints. “That requires new logistics concepts and new forms of cooperation so that truck kilometres can be reduced and more space emerges for alternative modes of transport.” Two examples he cites are 16

the development of synchromodal transport and Cross Chain Control Centres, both prominent points in the action plan. “A Cross Chain Control Centre is like a traffic centre for the advanced coordination of supply chains of various companies; it makes it possible to smartly combine cargo flows. This requires a different mindset, not just of the companies but also of the government. With the ACM (the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets, ed.) we are for example discussing possible supply chain cooperation between two different companies active in the field of fast moving consumer goods. Will the ACM allow this? Perhaps with a neutral, trusted third party between them?”

Synchromodality A similarly new concept is that of synchromodality in which ECT and European Gateway Services are two of the front­ runners. The starting point for the concept is the optimally flexible and sustainable deployment of various modes of transport – rail, waterways and road – in a network under the direction of a logistics service provider so that the customer is always offered the best possible solution for his (hinterland) transport. When necessary it is also easy to switch between these modalities. Veenman: “We are really noticing that this concept works. More than ten different pilots with synchromodality have now already been conducted and next implemented in the daily operations of companies.” This alternative approach brings with it quite some requirements. “To make synchromodal transport possible, customers will have to start booking a-modally and no longer select their mode of transport beforehand. Handing over this control is sometimes difficult for them and only possible if the logistics service provider proves itself very reliable.”

One Integrated Information System Data and data exchange are key for all the goals the Topteam Logistics has set itself in the action plan. At the national level, work is therefore in full swing on the development of a Neutral Logistics Information Platform (NLIP). Veenman: “The NLIP is not a new invention; it builds on the existing,

‘The willingness to share their experiences is an important factor’

successful information platforms of the Dutch seaports (Portbase), Schiphol Airport (Cargonaut) and the government (Digipoort). These systems must be able to properly interact with one another and new users must be able to connect to them with apps. In this way, one integrated information system accessible to all users is created. Without losing sight of confidentiality and on a non-commercial basis, of course.” This is not an easy process, emphasises Veenman. “Bringing together all parties in the NLIP and working out a proper governance is quite a puzzle. Its development is a gradual process.”

Human Capital Ambitions are one thing, but without sufficient logistics professionals the sector can never optimally flourish. The development of human capital is therefore also explicitly a focal point. Education and the labour market must match up seamlessly. Veenman has noticed that interest in a career in logistics is clearly increasing. “The influx of new students at the six higher vocational colleges in the Netherlands that focus on logistics has now already reached the level that we were aiming at for 2018. Each institute has its own strengths in that respect. Now, we must ensure that after their education we actually retain these students for the logistics sector.” Regarding secondary vocational education, a lot can still be gained though. “Those courses are much more diverse and spread out. But here too, we are working on creating a more optimum match between schooling and the labour market.”

Cohesion makes the Netherlands Stronger “Implementing the action plan of the Topteam Logistics is an intensive process,” says Veenman. “The fact that we can call upon the trendsetters in the industry – like ECT – and that they are willing to share their experiences with others is an important factor in that respect. In addition, with Dinalog we have a research institute which is fully geared to advanced logistics and explicitly seeks cooperation with the business sector. Together with the research institutes NWO and TNO, Dinalog is currently developing into the Top Institute Knowledge and Innovation to in this way even further stimulate innovation in the top sector logistics.”

“The logistics sector directly and indirectly employs about one million people and generates an annual turnover of 66 billion euros.”

Veenman: “Last but not least, we must not neglect to let other countries know just how good we are in logistics. Be good and tell it... The message we convey at present is often too fragmented. We must show that especially the cohesion makes the Netherlands stronger. It is not without reason that the sector directly and indirectly employs about one million people and generates an annual turnover of 66 billion euros.” 17

Innovation as Logistics Accelerator


ECT is continually aiming for innovative improvements to its services. That’s why it teamed up with Dutch research institute TNO in the European COMCIS project for the past two years. The development of a discharge predictor was one of the issues addressed in this project. Customers of European Gateway Services are set to reap the benefits.

COMCIS was a two-year European demonstration project, financed through the seventh framework programme. The EU project built on several previous supply chain visibility programmes such as Integrity. One of the main aims of COMCIS was to bundle the acquired expertise and tools and concretize them. Further research into the predictability of the exact discharge time of a container from a deepsea vessel turned out to fit well with this. For many parties in the logistics chain this kind of information can constitute an important added value.

Insight into Discharge Times Container terminals are increasingly welcoming far more, far larger deepsea vessels with increasingly larger call sizes. Due to this development, knowledge about the precise moment a specific container will be discharged becomes more and more interesting. Many freight forwarders and transport companies tend to wait with organising their hinterland transport until the deepsea vessel leaves the port again. That way they can be sure that a container is actually available. Not the most efficient way of working, ascertained Arno van Rijn, business developer at ECT. With the increasingly larger call sizes, the loss of time can be anything from several hours to more than a day, he has calculated. Particularly for containers that need to be dispatched to the hinterland with a certain degree of urgency and/or containing high-value goods, this can be quite an issue. “Within the context of the comprehensive services provision European Gateway Services aims to offer the market, we’re always looking at the possibilities for innovative improvements. Having more detailed insight into discharge times is one such innovation,” he says. “It will enable us to further speed up the onward transport of containers into the hinterland for our customers. Our participation in the COMCIS project helped us to make real progress on this.”

Discharge Predictor Inge Lucassen, logistics consultant at TNO: “In order to be able to develop a Discharge Predictor, we obviously started with preliminary research based on the shipping lines’ discharge lists and the quayside planning and discharge schedules drawn up by ECT, comparing them with actual discharge times and so on. Subsequently we started to devise algorithms and establish functional specifications. In this way we went through the entire process together with ECT and were finally able to deliver an innovative model that predicts discharge times.”

First Draft Version A first draft version of the Discharge Predictor tool is currently being tested at the ECT Delta Terminal. Van Rijn: “The next step will be to roll out the Discharge Predictor to vessels

calling at the Euromax Terminal as well. We will then go on to thoroughly evaluate these tests.” That the market stands to profit is beyond doubt, he says. “The services offered by European Gateway Services will further improve as a result.”

Proof of Concept ECT and TNO have also developed other activities within the COMCIS project. Van Rijn: “To ensure the best possible services provision, European Gateway Services aims to organise its network of inland connections fully synchro­ modal. To achieve that you need excellent access to all available data and next, to present these to your planners in the right way. With that in mind, software company Logit One has developed a synchromodal dashboard for European Gateway Services within the COMCIS project that can also give various alerts. For example, you’ll be alerted if the customs documents for a container have not been submitted yet at a specific point in time, or if a container hasn’t yet been discharged from the ship.” The proof of concept for this synchromodal dashboard has been clearly demonstrated within the COMCIS project. Van Rijn: “Here too we will take the lessons learned on board in the further development of European Gateway Services.”

‘A first draft version of the Discharge Predictor tool is currently being tested’

Feasibility Study Lucassen: “Within COMCIS we’ve also conducted a feasibility study into a so-called Extended Line Release. To put it in other words: what are the options for diverting as many potential holds as possible – such as the commercial line release – from the deepsea terminal to the hinterland, so that after discharging from the deepsea ship containers can head that way even faster?” Thanks to the study it has become clear what’s needed to achieve that. “Significant changes are necessary, both at ECT and at the shipping lines. Not only to the computer systems, but also in terms of redefining responsibilities, for example.”

Innovation as Tool Through its participation in the COMCIS project together with TNO and its efforts in helping to develop a Discharge Predictor and other new tools, ECT once again proves itself an innovator, Van Rijn believes. “It is one of many ways in which ECT and European Gateway Services continually take new steps in providing optimum services to their customers.” 19

The central distribution centre of Maxeda DIY Group for the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg is located in Willebroek, strategically situated between Antwerp and Brussels. Almost all overseas imports here come in via Rotterdam and the inland terminal TCT Belgium. A new cross-border customs license has now made this route from the Dutch seaport even easier. Maxeda DIY Group’s Logistics Director Mike Speakman: “In theory, we save two days and 30 to 40 euros for each container.”

Cross-border Advantages The average consumer will most likely have never heard of Maxeda DIY Group. The four different store formats of the company – Brico, Brico Plan-It, Praxis, Formido – however are familiar to all DIY enthusiasts. From Willebroek, the market leader in do-it-yourself products each day supplies more than 370 stores across the Benelux, also by night if possible. “We have approximately 100,000 m2 of storage space here at our central warehouse, which is managed by Distri-Log on our behalf,” explains Mike Speakman. About half of the articles in this warehouse come from overseas; particularly from the Far East, where Maxeda DIY Group has its own office in Shanghai which arranges the local manufacturing. Each year, about 5,000 to 6,000 containers are shipped from Asia to Europe; many of them carry seasonal products. “When customers are focusing on Christmas, we are preparing for the barbeque season here at the warehouse and vice versa. We are always one season ahead.”

99 Percent via Rotterdam From the Far East up to the warehouse in Willebroek, freight forwarder Damco is responsible for organising the cargo flows for Maxeda DIY Group. Speakman and his colleagues 20

however are closely involved and bear responsibility for the overall management. “99 percent of all our overseas containers pass through Rotterdam,” says the Logistics Director. An established route with a long history. “Originally, Maxeda DIY Group was part of a larger Dutch group which for example also comprised the department stores of Hema and Vroom & Dreesmann. This is no longer the case, but we do still jointly purchase ship capacity.”

Important Role TCT Belgium From Rotterdam, the flow of containers is moved by barge to TCT Belgium, just a five-minute drive from Maxeda DIY Group’s warehouse. The inland terminal is part of the European Gateway Services’ network of ECT and acts as an extended gate of its deepsea terminals. TCT Belgium and Rotterdam are connected daily by barge. Speakman is enthusiastic about the streamlined cargo flow this creates as well as the inland terminal’s level of service provision. “Fortunately, we don’t have to carry out the transport from the deepsea ports by truck. The roads around here are often congested.”

“Everything boils down to correct planning and flexibility. TCT Belgium plays a very important role in all this.”

How to benefit from TCT Belgium’s Cross-Border Customs Licence TCT Belgium delivers the containers on-demand. Trucks constantly go back and forth between the inland terminal and Maxeda DIY Group’s warehouse. “We tell TCT Belgium the order in which we want the containers to be delivered to the loading dock and they simply take care of it. We cannot afford to ever be out of stock. Conversely, it sometimes also happens that our office in Shanghai dispatches cargo before we actually need it here. Everything boils down to correct planning and flexibility. TCT Belgium plays a very important role in all this.”

‘We cannot afford to ever be out of stock’

In principle, any company that imports containers from overseas through Rotterdam and wants to transport these on to Belgium can easily make use of the crossborder customs license of TCT Belgium. There are no special requirements other than that a company has to integrate the inland terminal in Willebroek in its logistics process. If that is the case, cargo can be transported from Rotterdam without documents under the customs authorisation – and therefore the responsibility – of TCT Belgium. It is not until the cargo leaves the inland terminal in Willebroek again that a company needs to arrange the additional customs formalities. The advantages: -  No separate customs documents required for onward transport from Rotterdam to the inland terminal; - No customs clearance necessary in Rotterdam, which allows for faster transit times.

Cross-border Customs Licence “TCT Belgium along with our freight forwarder Damco actively approached us recently with the suggestion to make use of their new cross-border customs license for the transport of our cargo flows from Rotterdam,” explains Speakman. As soon as the cargo has been discharged from the deepsea vessel in Rotterdam, containers can consequently be moved immediately to the inland terminal in Willebroek under the customs license of TCT Belgium. It is not until here that the customs formalities of Maxeda DIY Group need to be arranged. In Rotterdam, it is no longer necessary to submit a T1 customs document, meaning the cargo no longer needs to wait for customs clearance. The containers can be further transported without documents. Speakman:

More information on how to benefit from the crossborder customs license is available through TCT Belgium, T +32 (0) 3 880 27 00, E

“This in theory shortens the turnaround time by two days and saves us 30 to 40 euros per container which we would otherwise have paid in Rotterdam for the customs document to be drawn up.” Maxeda DIY Group and its logistics partners just finished the trials with the alternative approach. “So don’t be surprised if we receive 80 - 90 percent of all our overseas containers in this manner two years from now.” 21

Daily Barge Shuttle Maasvlakte ECT City Terminal

Named City Barge, European Gateway Services now offers a daily shuttle between ECT’s deepsea terminals at the Maasvlakte and the ECT City Terminal 40 kilometres more inland. Both shipping lines and merchants can benefit from this new reliable and sustainable connection.

The new City Barge shuttle has initially been set up as a service provision to shipping lines for easily repositioning their relay and transhipment containers between the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal at the Maasvlakte and the ECT City Terminal. The shuttle service allows for efficient and sustainable connections between vessels in these different port areas.

‘Containers are available at the ECT City Terminal early in the morning’ Also For Merchants The City Barge is available to merchants soon. The first successful test runs have already been completed. Forwarders and shippers can use the new, daily port shuttle to dispatch containers which arrive by deepsea vessel at the Maasvlakte to the ECT City Terminal and arrange the onward transport from there. Generally, this transport 22

takes place at night; the containers are available at the ECT City Terminal early in the morning. Of course, the shuttle also works in the opposite direction: containers can be delivered at the ECT City Terminal for transport aboard the City Barge to the deepsea terminals at the Maasvlakte. Either way, a 40-kilometre truck journey back and forth right through the port over the often crowded A15 motorway is avoided.

Reliable Concept From the very beginning, the new City Barge shuttle has been offering daily sailings. The new connection is integrated in the broader network of European Gateway Services. The push barge combination Orca, which maintains a daily connection with the inland terminal MCT in Moerdijk, takes an extra push barge loaded with containers when leaving the Maasvlakte and delivers this en route to the ECT City Terminal. This in fact makes the initiative even more sustainable; no additional barge is required. On the return voyage from Moerdijk, the Orca picks up the push

barge again – which in the meantime has been discharged and loaded – at the ECT City Terminal and brings this back to the Maasvlakte.

Future Plans In the near future, phase three of the rollout of the City Barge will allow other companies in the vicinity of the ECT City Terminal to make use of the shuttle as well. In this way they can easily extend their connections to the Maasvlakte. The aim is further­ more to eventually provide paperless transport between the Maasvlakte terminals and the ECT City Terminal. In the current phase though, the regular customs procedures are applicable.

Also want to start using the City Barge? Booking containers on the City Barge is easy. The Central Booking Desk of European Gateway Services will ­further assist you: telephone +31 (0) 181 27 8308, email:


HOW DID THIS TRIP GO? “The journey from Shanghai took well over two months. Given the size of our cargo, we were unable to navigate the Suez Canal; instead, we had to sail around the Cape of Good Hope. En route, we had to stop due to a typhoon near Hong Kong. We also had to seek shelter due to bad weather in the Bay of Biscay. Waves of about ten metres high forced us to wait almost ten days.”

TRANSPORTING QUAY CRANES SEEMS LIKE QUITE A CHALLENGE “For stability reasons, we always sail in a 30-degree angle to the waves. The maximum allowed sway of the ship is 15 degrees. And of course, wind is an important factor as well. Our top speed in a force-seven headwind is only four knots. In wind force eight or nine, we are almost at a standstill. What’s more, the cranes are so large that we have to move to the side of the bridge in order to see past them.”



“Rotterdam is a very busy port. With three pilots on board – two on the bridge, one on the bow – and the deployment of four tugs, we were however smoothly guided to our berth on the south side of the ECT Delta Terminal at the back of the Amazonehaven.”

“No, that was still that trip in 2011 when Somali pirates tried to hijack us on our return from Europe. We were prepared, put on our personal protective equipment on time and barricaded ourselves behind the railing on the bridge with the entire crew. Amazingly, we managed to keep the pirates at bay by pelting them with beer bottles. In memory of the good outcome, one of our bulletriddled lifeboats is now on display at a museum in Shanghai.”

About the Zhen Hua 26 The Zhen Hua 26 was built in 1988 as a tanker and later converted into a heavy load carrier by order of crane manufacturer ZPMC. LENGTH 233.6 m WIDTH 44 m CREW 22 regular crew members and seven who bear responsibility for the cranes. All crew members are Chinese.


Behind the Scenes With the arrival of five ultra-large quay cranes, the ECT Delta Terminal is further expanding the number of ULCS berths for handling 18,000+ TEU vessels. The new quay cranes are supplied by ZPMC in Shanghai.

With their arms raised, the quay cranes are 135 metres high – as high as the London Eye ferris wheel; their lifting height is 50 metres under the spreader. 135

The outreach of the new quay cranes is 70 metres, or 24 rows of containers wide. In addition, it is still also possible to easily unsecure and secure containers from a gondola from the outside of the ship. By the way: ships which carry containers 24-rows wide currently only exist on the drawing board. 70m

The new quay cranes operate semi-automatically and thus guarantee a consistent, reliable production. The lifting capacity is 70 tonnes. The quay cranes are fully capable of twin lifting.

From the very start, ECT mechanics, engineers and crane operators have been present on-site in Shanghai to oversee the construction of the quay cranes. Consequently, a lot of testing has already been conducted beforehand meaning the quay cranes can be quickly incorporated in the daily operations at the ECT Delta Terminal.

For their size, the quay cranes have a unique slim design. As a result, the quay cranes weigh ‘only’ 1500 tonnes. They are tailor-made for ECT and can be operated without any restrictions on the existing quay structures.

Fast Forward 59  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you