w i n t e r 2 0 1 3 ISSUE
ULCS Quay Cranes Interview
Jan Westerhoud The Future of Rail
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, Cor Kwadijk (cover, page 14 - 15) Layout Ontwerpwerk, The Hague External coordination and printing RWP, Voorburg Chief editor ECT Rob Bagchus 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 deepsea 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 deepsea terminals in Rotterdam and the direct European hinterland. In 2012, ECT handled 7.7 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 52 ports, spanning
Europe Through One Single Portal
ECT Delta Terminal increases and upgrades ULCS Capacity
European Rail Freight Corridors Key to Successful Future
26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia. HPH also owns a number of transportation-related service companies. In 2012, the HPH Group handled a combined throughput of 76.8 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 email@example.com | W www.ect.nl E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.europeangatewayservices.com
European Gateway Services will intensify its efforts to offer the market one single, comprehensive network solution for their European hinterland transport. Headed by director Mark van Andel since the 1st of October 2013, the ECT subsidiary will further expand its services.
General Manager Philip Beesemer and Operations Manager Ton Leenderts explain how the addition of five of the world’s very largest quay cranes in combination with other substantial investments are readying the ECT Delta Terminal for the optimum handling of Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCSs).
The Royal Dutch Transport Federation (KNV) is representing the rail freight transporters in the Netherlands. Director Ad Toet considers the realisation of European rail freight corridors key to a successful future. In 2015, the first corridor must be in effect on the route Rotterdam - Genoa, Italy.
The Human Factor Tough Circumstances, Clear Course A wavering economy, further rationalisation in the shipping line sector, ever-increasing competition and overcapacity. The way the container sector is developing very much resembles a roller coaster ride. Nothing is certain, this much is clear. In these highly challenging times, ECT sticks to its course, states President Jan Westerhoud. “We endeavour to offer our customers the best possible proposition.”
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News PEOPLE MAKE THE DIFFERENCE As Easy as That!
‘Our Product is Reliability’
going For the Best Logistics Solution per Ton
Remote Truck Handling
Me and My Vessel
Behind the Scenes
Both on the seaside and the landside, we are readying ourselves for the future and the major challenges that lie ahead. We are therefore investing heavily in new additional (ULCS) equipment and are continuously working on system improvements. However, the most important factor is and will be: the human factor. This is our foundation for optimally functioning terminals and a constantly improving performance. Earlier this year, we agreed with the trade unions on a new collective labour agreement which runs until September 2017; a uniquely long term for port standards. It lays the basis for continuity for both our employees and for ECT as a company. In the years to come, we can now fully focus on the everincreasing service and performance requirements demanded by the market. This will benefit all parties involved, not least the customer. Of course, our deepsea terminals are highly automated and are increasingly becoming more sophisticated. But regardless of all this technology, what ultimately matters is people. It is our employees who make the difference in terms of service provision. At ECT, we demonstrate this time and again. From discharging and loading deepsea vessels 24/7 to the introduction of new and innovative logistics concepts. From our operations on the sea quays in Rotterdam to the inland terminals in our expanding European Gateway Services network. Never before has the global container sector seen more challenging market conditions. A fact which next seems to act as a catalyst for further scaling-up, shifting market balances and, consequently, even higher requirements made on deepsea terminals. In Rotterdam and Northwest Europe in general, substantial overcapacity is adding an extra dimension to this. ECT is ready for all these challenges: in terms of technology, in terms of organisation and especially also in terms of people. They are the soul of the company. In my opinion, the human factor is the determining key to success. For more than 45 years, we already have the knowledge, the experience and the drive to time and again achieve a next, better service level for our customers!
Jan Westerhoud President of ECT
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Thalassa Hellas of Evergreen sets New Record at Maiden Call The 13,808-TEU Ultra Large Container Ship (ULCS) Thalassa Hellas of Evergreen Line made its maiden call at the ECT Delta Terminal at the end of October 2013. The maiden visit marked Evergreen Line’s entry into the league of ULCS operators. What’s more, with 6750 moves (or 11,500 TEU) handled at its first port call in Europe a new record was set for ECT. The Thalassa Hellas was berthed at Evergreen’s dedicated facility at the south side of the ECT Delta Terminal, which is just one hour from the port entrance and, following the widening of the Amazonehaven harbour basin, offers even better access to ULCSs 24/7. The record volume handled during this first port visit signalled the commitment of Evergreen Line to Rotterdam and ECT as their main hub port in North West Europe. Wando Boevé, CCO of ECT: “We highly value our long lasting relationship with Evergreen and are proud of this new record. ECT is continuously investing in its capabilities to offer customers all the facilities necessary to handle their vessels whatever the size. Our service however does not stop at the waterside as we also offer unprecedented possibilities for reliable and sustainable hinterland transport via European Gateway Services.”
Watch the Video! See more of the visit of the Thalassa Hellas on the free Fast Forward app which you can download in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Market.
First New Hybrid AGVs Starting to Arrive The first two of 84 hybrid Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for the ECT Delta Terminal which are manufactured by VDL have been running their trial laps at the Maasvlakte since late October 2013. From January 2014, more vehicles will start to arrive. This delivery programme will run until 2015. The hybrid AGVs replace vehicles of the first generation. The new equipment combines higher performance (twice as fast, twin carrying) with a high energy efficiency, thus substantially reducing CO2 emissions and noise. 4
Did You See That?
Read the Enhanced Fast Forward on your Tablet Fast Forward no. 58 is also available as app for your tablet. In addition to the regular content, the app among other things features videos on the many facets of TCT Venlo and the maiden call of Evergreen Lineâ€™s first Ultra Large Container Ship (ULCS), the Thalassa Hellas, at the ECT Delta Terminal. No Fast Forward App on your tablet yet? Download it free-of-charge from both the Apple App Store and Google Play Market.
A striking appearance on the rail route between Rotterdam and Venlo: the trains of European Gateway Services running between the Maasvlakte and the inland terminal TCT Venlo are now fully fitted with corporate branding. Railway company Rurtalbahn has added the white-green logo across the full length of its BR189 electric locomotives. Rurtalbahn is the partner of European Gateway Services for the rail transport between Rotterdam and Venlo since the spring of 2013. Trains run four times a day in both directions, covering the entire route of approximately 200 kilometres electrically - and therefore sustainably.
ECT wins Lean & Green Personal Mobility Star
ECT is the first company in the Netherlands to win the Lean & Green Personal Mobility Star for its efforts in the field of personal mobility. Since the nineties of the last century, ECT has been offering its employees collective company transport 24/7 to and from the container terminals at the Maasvlakte. More than 1,000 employees, about 50 percent of the total, make use of this type of transport. Employees of neighbouring companies may also use the coaches. Everyone is taken to work and back home again in a relaxed and safe manner. In this way, ECT furthermore offers a substantial contribution to the sustainable accessibility of the Rotterdam port. The collective transport saves 17.5 million car kilometres annually and leads to a 30-percent reduction in CO2 emissions.
Seven New Straddle Carriers Seven new straddle carriers produced by Liebherr were recently commissioned at the ECT Delta Terminal. The new vehicles replace older models and are significantly more sustainable in operations while offering a higher performance. The new straddle carriers can stack 1 over 2 high and will operate on the landside of the ECT Delta Terminal, shuttling between the stack and the visiting trucks. In addition, the straddle carriers will handle multi trailers for intra terminal transfers.
Lean & Green is a programme of the national independent public - private network Connekt which aims to offer a tangible and pragmatic contribution to more sustainable mobility. ECT was already awarded the Lean & Green Award in 2010, followed by the Lean & Green Star in 2013 for a demonstrable CO2 reduction in its operational process. 5
New Record Euromax Terminal Rotterdam
E-Gate App heading for 5000 Users The E-Gate app is now running on almost 5000 smartphones. The app has proven an especially useful tool for transporters to quickly verify whether their containers are available for them at the terminal. The E-Gate app provides this information for the three deepsea terminals of ECT in Rotterdam as well as the inland terminals TCT Venlo, MCT Moerdijk, TCT Belgium and DeCeTe Duisburg. All the user needs to do is enter the container number. Other features of the E-Gate app include status information on deepsea ships, feeders, barges and trains at ECT’s deepsea terminals, operational service updates and the latest news on European Gateway Services. The new E-Gate App is suitable for Apple and Android and can be downloaded free-of-charge in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Market.
In September 2013, the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam established a new record. When handling the Cosco Pride, a quay productivity of 221 moves per hour was achieved. ECT President Jan Westerhoud: “This is a wonderful accomplishment, but at the same time nothing more than a stepping stone for us toward an even better performance. The continuous scaling-up in the container shipping sector calls for an ever-increasing productivity, both on the waterside and the landside.” More in an interview with Jan Westerhoud on pages 8 to 10.
Port of Rotterdam stimulates Use ShoreTensions The Port of Rotterdam Authority has recognised the added value of ShoreTensions for safely mooring vessels in all weathers. Terminal operators in the port of Rotterdam who purchase the mooring system before the 31st of March 2014 consequently qualify for a subsidy of up to ten percent on the purchasing price. The ShoreTension was invented in Rotterdam and initiated by the Royal Boatmen’s Association Eendracht (KRVE). The KRVE bears responsibility for the mooring and unmooring of all sea-going ships in the port. Deploying the flexible ShoreTensions makes it possible to exert the same constant pressure on the mooring lines of sea-going vessels. Unlike traditional mooring using mooring lines and bollards, a sea-going vessel will hardly move anymore due to hard winds, passing shipping traffic or fast currents. Swell, wind gusts etc are absorbed by the ShoreTensions. This prevents mooring lines from snapping due to the large forces which are in play. The ShoreTension system does not use external energy and is therefore CO2 neutral. Furthermore, operations at the terminal become easier; after all, as the sea-going ship is positioned with greater stability, the quay cranes can continue working uninterrupted. This applies to container, general cargo and bulk terminals. Harbour Master René de Vries about the Port Authority’s incentive: “As sea-going vessels are growing larger and larger they are increasingly being exposed to wind. 6
In addition, passing ships cause swell. Tight mooring lines are therefore important to ship, cargo and quay. Furthermore, the ShoreTensions reduce the emissions of diesel generators aboard ships. The use of the hydraulic cylinders means a ship’s diesel generator-propelled winches are no longer necessary to exert pressure on mooring lines.”
More details on how the ShoreTension works are available on the website www.shoretension.com. The global exploitation is done by ShoreTension Holding in which ECT has a 50-percent stake. ECT has purchased four ShoreTensions for its own deepsea terminals in Rotterdam.
People make the Difference
ECT’s staff have already been meeting the needs of customers for more than 45 years. In this series they reveal their drive.
Jan Willem van der Vliet (26) has been working at ECT as a process controller in the daily operations at the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam since 2009.
Alex Stevenson (36) has been working at ECT as a consultant in the Logistics Development department since 2012.
Everything for Optimal Truck Flows How do you work together for the customer? ALEX “At the Logistics Development department we initiate companywide projects aimed at improving service and performance for the customer, using the Lean Six Sigma method and operating in multi disciplinary teams.” JAN WILLEM “In the daily operations you’re also expected to think about how processes can be further streamlined. That’s why I’m taking part in one of the improvement projects.” Which specific project is this? ALEX “Boosting the reliability of truck turnaround times at the Euromax Terminal. The aim is to get each truck on and off the terminal within three quarters of an hour. Generally speaking that’s what we achieve. But there are some exceptions. Together with the Gate and Administration Desk and the Euromax operational department we’ve been looking at the reasons for that and possible solutions.”
JAN WILLEM “Improvement projects are always characterised by the same DMAIC structure: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control. We’ve systematically worked through all those steps together.” And what’s the result? ALEX “One of the outcomes is that the Gate and Administration Desk at the Euromax Terminal now has a huge screen displaying the fifteen trucks that have been on the terminal longest. Trucks that have been on the terminal over an hour are put on red alert.” JAN WILLEM “It’s an important trigger to take further action. Amid all the activity generated by over 1000 trucks visiting daily and up to 150 trucks on the terminal during peak times, it isn’t always immediately apparent that a truck might have been standing still for an unnecessarily long period of time. Now you can see that at a glance. We aim to help each truck driver on his way as quickly as possible.”
Does it work? ALEX “The project is still very new and we will have to measure the results over the coming period. The screen creates insight and provides an extra tool. The fact is that truck handling at the Euromax Terminal has already stepped up significantly over the past few months. We are constantly working to further improve reliability. That’s something we do in partnership with the trucking companies. Correct pre-notification, for example, means truck drivers can stay in their cabin and don’t need to report at the desk.”
‘We are constantly working to further improve reliability’ JAN WILLEM “I come from a trucking family. My father owns a transport company. He and his colleagues are happy with the handling here on the terminal and see the improvements. The last time they visited the Euromax Terminal they were ready in half an hour.”
Interview Jan Westerhoud
Tough Circumstances, Clear Course A wavering economy, further rationalisation in the shipping line sector, ever-increasing competition and overcapacity. The way the container sector is developing very much resembles a roller coaster ride. Nothing is certain, this much is clear. In these highly challenging times, ECT sticks to its course, states President Jan Westerhoud. â€œWe endeavour to offer our customers the best possible proposition.â€?
“We are in a very short time bringing the ECT Delta Terminal’s quay productivity on a higher level, especially for handling Ultra Large Container Ships.”
“On the seaside, we are working on further strengthening our ties with shipping lines; we are readying our deepsea terminals for even more competitive production levels and are strengthening our hinterland product, especially through European Gateway Services.” Jan Westerhoud succinctly lists the core of ECT’s strategy. “Despite all the current market conditions and developments, there is no reason to deviate from this. Our strategy is solid and we are committed to make ourselves as attractive as possible to our customers.”
New Hour Record of 221 Moves “Teaming up with deepsea shipping lines is a continuous process,” says Westerhoud. “We endeavour to offer our customers the best possible proposition. This goes far beyond price alone; take reliability, service and accessibility, for example.” Directly related to this is the constant increase in quay productivity. With 221 moves per hour, the Euromax Terminal Rotterdam recently established a new record. “And we keep on further improving. The same holds true for the ECT Delta Terminal; we are making substantial investments (see article pages 14 - 15, ed). Combined with numerous organisational adjustments which are often less obvious to the outside world, we are in a very short time bringing the ECT Delta
Terminal’s quay productivity on a higher level, especially for handling Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCSs). It takes true teamwork to achieve this. Also in cooperation with the shipping lines. After all, the manner in which they plan the stowage of their vessels must enable us to achieve a high production.” Westerhoud is convinced that ECT and the shipping lines have a common interest here. “In a highly competitive market, they too must distinguish themselves.” The positive impact of teamwork for example became apparent during the maiden call of the Thalassa Hellas at the end of October 2013. This very first ULCS of Evergreen Line had a call size of 6750 moves (11,500 TEU) at the ECT Delta Terminal. “And that is not about quay cranes alone; on the landside all that cargo has to be smoothly moved to the hinterland as well.” This is one of the reasons why ECT fully focuses on the further development of European Gateway Services in its corporate strategy. Westerhoud: “With European Gateway Services we are entering a new phase, with a new director (see article pages 12-13, ed) who has earned his dues in logistics and with even more emphasis on product development. Organising European transport is a separate league and a whole different game. Through European Gateway Services, we are fully pursuing this.”
“We will certainly match the standards promised to the market by the new companies at Maasvlakte 2. We have the knowledge, the long-term experience and the drive.”
Sticking to its course is for ECT a major challenge. Market conditions are more than turbulent. And the economy is certainly not helping. Westerhoud: “Fortunately, there are increasing signs that the economic crisis has reached its deepest point. This is positive, but must still become manifest in practice though. I do not really expect container volumes to increase in 2014. In the meantime, the world of course keeps on turning. The character of China for example is changing and the country is increasingly focusing on domestic consumption. The first companies which manufacture in Asia are starting to reshore activities to Europe etc. etc.”
Another development affecting the market is the announced cooperation between the world’s three largest shipping lines - Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM - in the P3 alliance. From the second quarter of 2014, they plan to start using each other’s ships on all major east-west routes. Westerhoud: “We will obviously be keeping a close eye on how this cooperation works out. In itself, we are not surprised; a P3-like cooperation was in the line of expectation. We had anticipated a further rationalisation among the shipping lines.” The provisional sailing schedules announced by P3 - pending approval of the cooperation by the regulatory authorities - show a reduced number of port calls for Rotterdam. This once again confirms that nothing is certain
Overcapacity a Fact Market growth is certainly highly needed in the coming years, notes Westerhoud. “Unfortunately, my market forecasts have proven highly accurate over the last couple of years. Container handling has seen hardly any or no growth. I wish I were wrong. Fact is that with the com missioning of new container terminals at Maasvlakte 2 in 2014, way too much handling capacity is instantaneously launched in the market in Rotterdam. The conclusions of the independent study a couple of years ago by Policy Research Corporation on the impact of a rapid commis sioning of Maasvlakte 2 are still as valid as they ever were. For us as an existing company at the current Maasvlakte, it will be very tough.” It is uncertain whether ECT will already be impacted by the new container terminals at Maasvlakte 2 next year. “But also bear in mind that the competition with other ports is intensifying as well. There is overcapacity throughout the whole of North-west Europe. This makes it even more important for us to provide customers with services that are second to none. Rest assured that we will certainly match the standards promised to the market by the new companies at Maasvlakte 2. We have the knowledge, the long-term experience and the drive.” 10
‘Unfortunately, my market forecasts have proven highly accurate over the last couple of years’ in the container sector. Westerhoud: “What matters is offering the best product as a port, making sure that customers can rest assured that containers will always be adequately handled and reach the hinterland on time and vice versa. In cooperation with all the parties in the port, the Port of Rotterdam Authority will really need to take action on further maximising the services rendered by the port.”
Staying on Course Developments in the container sector are thus continuing to rapidly follow on each other, time and again shaking up the market. “What matters to ECT in this turbulent environment is that we stay very alert, immediately increasing our efforts when necessary and always stick to our course. Whilst doing so we smartly invest in the best possible service provision for our customers. That is our raison d’être!”
As Easy as That! It’s not only 20- and 40-foot containers that are transported by large deepsea vessels all over the world. Shipping lines also always make room on board for different cargoes on request. ECT’s Special Cargo department is fully-equipped to discharge and load such oversized and heavy cargoes safely and efficiently 24 hours a day, seven days a week. ECT staff have decades of experience and know exactly how to
handle such cargoes, regardless of whether it’s aeroplanes, yachts, rail track, heavy machinery or even entire chemical plants. Often using floating sheerlegs, each object is positioned or removed from board smoothly and without any damage occurring. All the while regular operations carry on as usual as far as possible. It’s as easy as that!
More Photgraphs View lots more photographs of the work done by the Special Cargo department on the Fast Forward app, which you can download free of charge in the Apple App Store and Google Play Market. 11
Mark van Andel Director European Gateway Services
Europe Through One Single Portal European Gateway Services will intensify its efforts to offer the market one single, comprehensive network solution for their European hinterland transport. Headed by director Mark van Andel since the 1st of October 2013, the ECT subsidiary will further expand its services. “Customers will be able to organise all their hinterland transport and more through one single point of contact.” Van Andel has one foot in the port and the other in the logistics sector. His very first job was in the port of Rotterdam at dry bulk terminal operator EBS. His career next included sixteen years at UPS (where he left as Director Contract Logistics at UPS Supply Chain Solutions) and before joining European Gateway Services he was Managing Director Port Logistics at Lehnkering. “I have experience in both the port and the hinterland. Unlike ECT in its capacity as a container terminal operator, European Gateway Services serves different types of customers: not only shipping lines, but also logistics service providers, manufacturers and traders book with us. They operate in different markets, each with their own dynamics and culture. I know these markets well and am in tune with their needs.”
Integrated Network Approach “Major customers are looking for one single network solution,” continues Van Andel. “One single point of contact through which they can organise all their hinterland transport and associated services. What really matters to them is the ease of doing business. Through our centralised approach, we make it extremely easy to utilise every part of our dense, synchromodal European network. Customers can count on reliability, costeffectiveness, flexibility and transparency.” As a subsidiary of ECT, European Gateway Services has a unique and distinguishing competitive edge to offer. According to Van Andel, the possibility of integrating with the deepsea terminal operations is a big plus; it adds an extra dimension in terms of speed and reliability. “We seamlessly connect sea and land and can therefore achieve a faster availability of containers on the sea quay. What’s more, we can offer the customer additional
“We aim to further strengthen our current European network. Austria is the first expansion that we will be explicitly targeting.”
“Our extended gates substantially simplify the process for customers.”
planning information, thereby improving the container flows for all parties involved.”
Online booking from 2014 “The journey between sea port and hinterland needs to become more transparent anyway,” continues the director. “Through our E-Gate app and through the European Gateway Services’ website, we are currently already offering many track & trace options for our customers. This visibility is important to them, but also to us if we really want to utilise all transport modes to optimally manage the logistics process from start to finish. A synchromodal approach is important to maintain reliable service levels throughout our network.” Another important element in the online strategy of European Gateway Services is a new booking tool: customers will be able to book their transport online and to fully track and trace their orders through the network. “We have already started testing,” says Van Andel about the progress made in this respect. “Soon, companies will be able to issue orders online and make additional arrangements via our website. They will be in the driver’s seat themselves, automatically receiving updates on the status of their containers as these move through the network.”
More Extended Gates Another important advantage for customers is the fact that several inland terminals in the European Gateway Services network are acting as extended gates. In this set-up, import containers are immediately moved to the hinterland by barge or train upon arrival at the deepsea terminal in Rotterdam under the customs licence of European Gateway Services. Only when the cargo is collected at the inland terminal does a company need to arrange the customs formalities. This advanced set up is available for several of the inland terminals in the Netherlands and also cross border at the terminals in Duisburg (Germany) and Willebroek (Belgium). As far as Van Andel is concerned, the number of extended gates will definitely be further expanded. “They substantially simplify the import process for our customers, streamlining customs formalities and minimising costs. Among other locations, we are currently working on expansion of our extended gates to respectively Dortmund, Nuremberg and Munich.”
Attracting New Rotterdam Cargo European Gateway Services is constantly expanding its network anyway. Van Andel: “We aim to further strengthen our current European network; increasing the number of connections and participating inland terminals. In this respect, we will not solely focus on Rotterdam’s more traditional hinterland like the Benelux countries and the German Ruhr area, but will also target areas further afield in Europe. The ambition of European Gateway Services goes far beyond retaining existing cargo flows. Austria is the first expansion that we will be explicitly targeting. In the more distant future, new connections with other countries in Central and Eastern Europe will also be among the possibilities. We constantly aim to attract new cargo to Rotterdam.”
Expanding the Range of Services Throughout the entire network, European Gateway Services wants to offer its customers a uniform range of additional services. “Our customers should be able to easily select these services and be assured they are performed against a uniform standard and high service level across the network,” states Van Andel. “Our in-house experts will work with specialised partners; our customers however will only have to deal with their familiar contact person at European Gateway Services.” The director for example mentions gas measurements and the defumigation of containers. “These services are currently only available at a few of our inland terminals. In early 2014, we will start offering such services uniformly throughout the network; our customers just have to select the option when they enter the order. That is what I call truly unburdening the customer.”
‘Sustainability Engine’ Last but not least, Van Andel points to the already leading role of European Gateway Services in making transport more sustainable. “I don’t think that many Dutch service providers can match the number of containers we manage to take off the road in favour of rail and barge. We are far too modest about this: hundreds of thousands of containers are involved. I’m not afraid of stating that we are one of the largest ‘sustainability engines’ in the Netherlands.” An important fact, also in terms of attracting new business. “For the large shippers and forwarders, sustainability is simply a precondition for doing business nowadays. We offer this throughout the entire network.”
ECT Delta Terminal increases and upgrades ULCS Capacity In late December 2013, the ECT Delta Terminal is expecting the arrival of five of the world’s very largest quay cranes. General Manager Philip Beesemer and Operations Manager Ton Leenderts explain how the addition of this new equipment in combination with other substantial investments are readying the ECT Delta Terminal for the optimum handling of Ultra Large Container Ships (ULCSs). Manufactured by ZPMC in Shanghai, the new quay cranes have a lifting height of 50 metres and a reach of 24 containers wide. In addition, it is still also possible to unfasten the containers from a gondola from the outside of the ship prior to discharging. This factually gives the quay cranes a reach of 25 rows wide. The state-of-the-art equipment is therefore more than sufficient for today’s largest deepsea ships. After all, aboard these triple-E container ships with a capacity of 18,000 TEU and more the containers are stacked on deck no wider than 23 rows. “This means the new quay cranes will be suitable for even larger container ships,” explain Beesemer and Leenderts. The new quay cranes are semi-automatic; the crane operator only needs to pick up or deposit the container above the ship. The entire additional crane cycle from Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) to ship and vice versa has been automated. “This semi-automatic principle ensures a consistent, reliable crane production.”
Increased ULCS Handling Capacity As soon as the new quay cranes arrive in Rotterdam in late December 2013, the ECT Delta Terminal will immediately make a start with commissioning the equipment. An inspection team of ECT was constantly present on-site during the manufacturing in Shanghai. In the meantime, the semi-automatic handling principle was tested on an existing crane at the ECT Delta Terminal. Beesemer and
‘The ECT Delta Terminal will receive 106 new AGVs’ Leenderts: “As a result, we will be able to incorporate the quay cranes into our daily operation relatively quickly. The moment the cranes function accordingly, they will be immediately shifted to their proper locations to boost our ULCS handling capacity.”
Easier Access for 18,000+ TEU Ships The five new quay cranes are not the only investment aimed at further enhancing the handling capacity for ULCSs. The port basin on the south side of the ECT Delta Terminal - the Amazonehaven - is currently being widened from 255 to 310 metres across its entire length of 2.4 kilometres. From the entrance, significant progress has already been made in that respect. The entire project is due for completion in April 2014. Beesemer and Leenderts: “Then, we will be able to also receive ships of 18,000 TEU and beyond on the south side of the ECT Delta Terminal without any restrictions whatsoever regarding manoeuvrability. The handling of 14,000 TEU-
‘The new quay cranes will be suitable for even larger container ships’ vessels is already common practice here. Together with the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Rotterdam pilots we have extensively and successfully simulated the arrival of fully-laden 18,000+ TEU vessels in a widened Amazonehaven at the laboratory of the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN). The north side of the ECT Delta Terminal has no restrictions for ULCSs of any size anyway.”
new vehicles are twice as fast. This improves performance and the new AGVs are much cleaner as well.”
System Improvements Other investments include eleven new Automated Stacking Cranes (ASCs) and seven new straddle carriers (see news item page 5). All boast a substantially better performance than their 1st generation predecessors. Furthermore, a number of adjustments have been made to the operating system of the ECT Delta Terminal; for example, the artificial system boundaries on the south side have been eliminated, meaning the quay capacity can be utilised even better. What’s more, performance improvement teams together with customers and other partners in the logistic chain are constantly working on increasing performance and service. Beesemer and Leenderts: “With all these investments and improvements, ECT is clearly signalling that it is ready for the future. Each fully-laden ULCS can count on unhampered, optimal service at the ECT Delta Terminal 24/7.
Substantial Replacement Investments Parallel to the ULCS upgrade programme, ECT is also heavily investing in further improving the performance of the Delta Terminal in general. This is mainly done through a large number of replacement investments. Beesemer and Leenderts: “The ECT Delta Terminal will receive 106 new Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). 22 diesel-electric vehicles made by Gottwald are already operational and by now the first two of 84 hybrid AGVs of VDL have arrived (see news item page 4, ed).” The AGVs replace vehicles in use since the early nineties. “Once the replacement operation has been completed, all the AGVs at the ECT Delta Terminal will be suitable for twin carrying. Moreover, the
Sustainable! Of course, sustainability was a major focal point in the construction of the new ULCS quay cranes. For example, all walkways on the quay cranes have been fitted with LED lighting. When lowering or slowing down the hoisting of a container, the crane furthermore returns substantial amounts of electricity (up to factor 2) to the power grid. A principle which by the way has already been commonly used on all cranes of ECT for decades. As part of sustainability programmes, it is nowadays often presented as ‘something new’ elsewhere.
European Rail Freight Corridors Key to Successful Future The dedicated Betuweroute freight railway line is a shining example for the rest of Europe, says Ad Toet, director of the Royal Dutch Transport Federation (Koninklijk Nederlands Vervoer, KNV). Representing the rail freight transporters in the Netherlands, he considers the realisation of European rail freight corridors key to a successful future. In 2015, the first corridor must be in effect on the route Rotterdam Genoa, Italy.
â€œPlease stop calling us users; we are customers in need of appropriate account management!â€?
“Across long distances, rail transport is the cleanest mode of transport,” says Toet. “Inland shipping comes close, but large parts of Europe are not accessible by barge.”
Representing Rail Freight Transporters The liberalisation of European rail freight transport in the first decade of the 21st century has logically resulted in an increase in the number of rail transport companies in the Netherlands. These are obviously in competition with one another, but they also share certain common interests. If only because all parties for example use the same rail infrastructure. The Royal Dutch Transport Federation (Koninklijk Nederlands Vervoer, KNV) therefore acts on behalf of all seventeen railway companies active in the Netherlands, looking after their interests and representing them in (international) consultation and operational bodies.
95 Percent Cross-Border The foundations for the rail freight sector are solid, is what the spokesman of the rail freight transporters wants to say. The challenge for further growth to a great extent is related to the implementation of a competitive European rail product. Historically, rail transport has always been organised nationally. In a European context, a hodgepodge of rail systems, safety requirements and legislation involving national rail managers who do not look beyond their own borders has therefore emerged. Toet: “This can still be justified for passenger transport, which takes place within one single country 95 percent of the time. But for rail freight, the exact opposite holds true: 95 percent is international, so cross-border.” The harmonisation of rail transport for both passengers and cargo has been an important policy objective for the European Union (EU) for quite some time. The ambition is to realise one Single European Railway Area to thus stimulate the further growth of rail transport. Important cornerstones in this respect are European guidelines for a strict separation between infrastructure management and railway companies and free access to use the tracks for any party meeting the requirements. For freight transport this is a formal fact in all EU member states already, although the practical implementation still varies from country to country.
Nine European Rail Freight Corridors Specifically for stimulating rail freight transport, the European Commission has identified nine cross-border rail freight corridors as part of the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) programme. Interoperability is the keyword in this respect. The corridors will form crossborder connections which will allow trains, preferably 750 metres in length, to continue driving uninterrupted on prearranged train paths free of obstacles when riding from one country into the other. Rotterdam is the starting point and/or terminus for three of the nine European rail freight corridors, connecting the port with respectively Genoa in Italy, Lyon in France and Warsaw in Poland. “The corridor with Genoa is the first to be developed and actually the blueprint for future corridors,” says Toet, who represents the Netherlands at the European level regarding realisation. In 2015, the corridor Rotterdam - Genoa must be a fact. “All the countries involved - EU member states the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, but also Switzerland - are fully investing in this. With the commissioning of the dedicated Betuweroute freight railway line between Rotterdam and Germany in 2008, the Netherlands is a shining example.” Investments in infrastructure and the implementation of uniform safety rules will still continue for many years in other countries. 2015 will therefore especially be the year in which trains between Rotterdam and Genoa will be able to make actual use of the pre-arranged paths coordinated by Rail Net Europe (RNE) in Vienna. Instead of needing to request access to the rail network in each different country, a railway company can arrange the entire route from the
Netherlands to Italy (and vice versa) at once through one of the national rail infrastructure managers involved.
Interoperability The preconditions for a truly well-oiled European freight railway system are thus slowly but surely coming together, ascertains Toet. At the same time, plenty of hick-ups still remain at various levels. One of the current issues for example relates to the costs involved in the deployment of locomotives. The more borders a train needs to cross, the more different rail systems a locomotive must be able to handle and the more expensive its purchase or lease. “However, interoperability is a clear advantage in the long term - I am fully convinced of that.” An important discussion within the Netherlands is whether ProRail - as manager of the national mixed rail network - and Keyrail as manager of the Betuweroute - must continue to coexist alongside one another. Toet has his doubts. “If your aim is one Single European Railway Area, then having two rail
Interoperability is the keyword infrastructure managers in the Netherlands seems illogical. The essence is that we address the lack of attention for freight transport compared to passenger transport. And please stop calling us users; we are customers in need of appropriate account management! This also applies at the European level. It must be made clear that freight transport and passenger transport are two completely different things. A passenger train will always run, even if there is hardly any interest. A freight train will not start running until sufficient cargo is available. And not all train paths are equally suitable in that case. This leads to misunderstanding. After all, looking at available train paths, it may initially appear as if freight transport has plenty of room.” “Rail definitely needs to become even more competitive,” concludes Toet. “We must absolutely increase the market share. And with a plan of attack, we at KNV will seriously address this.”
‘Our Product is Reliability’
“Within two hours every train must be discharged and loaded and have left the terminal with its new cargo.”
As part of European Gateway Services the trimodal inland terminal TCT Venlo proves itself to be a key link between the port of Rotterdam and the Venlo region. A region that borders Germany and in 2013 was again voted the no. 1 Dutch logistics hotspot. Trains run four times daily, there’s a daily barge service and extensive additional services mean that every transport need can be met. “Our work is entirely demand-driven,” says TCT Venlo’s Managing Director Marc Stubenitsky. Every day at 2 am, 8 am, 2 pm and 8 pm the Rotterdam train pulls into Venlo. Its arrival is highly punctual, says Stubenitsky. “With our partner, traction provider Rurtalbahn, we maintain strict KPIs (key performance indicators, ed). And we’re constantly looking for further improvements. Within two hours every train must be discharged and loaded and have left the terminal with its new cargo. In the same way we have a KPI for trucks visiting the terminal; half an hour maximum, in and out. That target we meet more than 95 percent of the time.” Not that the train arrival and departure times are anything for customers to worry about anyhow. “As part of European Gateway Services we offer synchromodal transport,” says Stubenitsky. “Customers booking with us indicate the time at which the container must be available on our inland terminal here in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands or at the customer’s warehouse. Based on that information we decide whether the container is sent from Rotterdam on one of the trains or on the barge to Venlo. Whatever happens, the customer is always assured that his container is available as requested so that he can keep stocks – and 18
therefore costs – low for an optimal lean operation. Our product is reliability and our work is entirely demanddriven.”
Continuous Growth Stubenitsky also sees a strong demand for one of the extra options European Gateway Services offers: paperless transport. TCT Venlo acts as a fully-fledged extended gate. Containers can travel from Rotterdam to Venlo under ECT’s customs licence, so companies only need to complete customs formalities once the container leaves the inland terminal. “We have major customers using this option, but particularly for many smaller companies it appears to be an attractive way to go too.” TCT Venlo is in any case looking to cut paperwork to a minimum: “In November 2013 we started digital dispatch of the mandatory paperwork that traditionally goes with the containers on the train.” The multifaceted and highly reliable service offered by TCT Venlo and European Gateway Services to the market is proving to be successful, concludes Stubenitsky. “We are seeing continuous growth, up 13 percent in the first six
“All players within the logistics chain are looking to optimize their operations. And in that we’re with them every step of the way.”
months of 2013, for example. Our service region stretches beyond Venlo to Venray, Oosterom and Roermond in the south-eastern Netherlands and the Gladbach region in Germany.” Further growth is certainly possible, he believes. “Another 230 hectares of new industrial terrain are being made available in the Venlo region through the so-called Trade Port North. Of that 75 percent has been earmarked for logistics.” Trade Port North will also incorporate a new rail terminal; it goes without saying that TCT Venlo is very much interested in developing activities there.
New Tracks Meanwhile TCT Venlo is investing heavily in its existing facilities. From May to September 2013 the rail terminal in particular received a significant upgrade. In just over four months the over 20-year-old rail infrastructure was replaced by two new rail tracks of 620 metres in length, while the surrounding stacking area was also repaved. Stubenitsky: “Thanks to extensive preparations and an innovative approach, all this work could be carried out during our busiest period without compromising our daily operations.” Coming on top of the new office that opened earlier in 2013, this means the trimodal inland terminal has been brought entirely up to date.
Additional Reefer Services TCT Venlo is continuously further developing its services provision. Within the broader context of European Gateway Services this is the case in terms of data exchange, for example. Stubenitsky: “Customers are increasingly demanding more transparency. Via the European Gateway Services website and a special E-Gate app customers can now see at a glance whether a container is available to be picked up on our inland terminal. That means fewer telephone calls for all concerned and transparency in the logistics chain.”
TCT Venlo is also expanding its reefer services. The transport of melons arriving in Rotterdam from overseas via barge and now also by train to Venlo is showing strong growth. “Within the framework of the national Fresh Corridor programme consideration is being given to whether barge and train deployment can be extended to other companies with reefer cargoes. For this reason our inland terminal now also has a reefer service point. Here we conduct pre-trip inspections and clean the reefers, making them available for return cargoes.” A concrete example of how this leads to new business is Aviko. The potato products manufacturer uses the freed up empty reefer containers to transport export cargoes. “We ensure that the reefers are clean for them to use. In this way import and export flows can be combined in order to further assure sustainable transport.”
Taking Care for the Customer It’s just one of the many ways of making logistics smarter, Stubenitsky says in closing. “All players within the logistics chain are looking to optimize their operations. And in that we’re with them every step of the way. We are definitely aiming to play an increasingly important role. Effectively the only thing our customers still need to do is to book the time slot that a container needs to be available at the dock of the warehouse – we do the rest.”
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Going for the Best Logistics Solution per Ton Fr. Meyers Sohn (FMS) is a forwarder of German origin that ships more than 800,000 TEU annually for customers via its own global network. “We always go for the best logistics solution per ton,” says Dave van Diggele, general cargo manager at the Rotterdam branch. For this reason FMS has started to use the direct Nuremberg train service offered by European Gateway Services.
FMS was founded in 1897 in Hamburg specifically to offer logistical services in paper transport. To this very day, this is still the company’s major speciality. Under the heading of forestry, FMS is active in the logistics of new paper, recycled paper as well as raw materials and wood pulp. “Everyone in the paper business knows us,” says Van Diggele about FMS’s
‘The Netherlands allows for the deferring of VAT’ leading position in the industry. “Via our own 35 offices in Europe, the United States and Asia, we can offer our customers a worldwide network. With a staff of 500 we ship 800,000 TEU annually, making us one of the largest independent forwarders of ocean freight. We combine a strong purchasing power with the flexibility and personal attention of a medium-sized business. We’re convinced that it’s still the people who make the difference. We are in permanent contact with our customers; all our clients can be assured of a tailor-made solution. Our aim is to offer the best logistics solution per ton and we really want to help our customers to develop their business.” Finding the best logistics solution per ton means that FMS always looks at the bigger picture. “It may well be that on a particular route ocean freight sometimes is a little more expensive, but that in terms of the total logistic costs this choice still works out more favourably.”
New Commodities Van Diggele gives a brief sketch of current developments in the forestry business per continent. “America is a real growth market and in Asia, too, we are expanding whereas in Europe, the growth of the paper trade is slowing down for some products.” However, nowadays FMS is also active in other areas. In 2007 it set up a separate division dedicated to provide logistics services for other commodities. “In the forestry business we’ve proved our strength in organising the transport of large volumes of relatively low-value cargo,” says Van Diggele. “Our worldwide network is geared to do that; we’re therefore able to offer a highly attractive proposition to customers with comparable commodities.”
Nuremberg – Rotterdam The various branches within FMS are actively encouraged by the head office to take advantage of the power of the network to develop new business and to think up new concepts. “The different offices maintain intensive contact with one another and exchange a great deal of information,” Van Diggele explains. That’s also how European Gateway Services entered the picture, initially due mainly to the direct rail link it offers between Rotterdam and Nuremberg in southern Germany. The Rotterdam office alerted its local FMS colleagues in Nuremberg to this alternative to transport via the northern German ports. It resulted in an additional flow of heavy cargo (stone slabs), opting for the route via Rotterdam. “As always, it’s about the best logistics solution per ton,” says Van Diggele. Viewed in this light, Rotterdam actively supports the handling of containers with heavy cargo. Another major plus according to Van Diggele is the
“With European Gateway Services it’s easy to make arrangements.”
flexibility of European Gateway Services. “The export volumes from Nuremberg fluctuate strongly. With European Gateway Services it’s easy to make arrangements around that. And the same holds true for cargo delivery deadlines to the deepsea terminals.”
‘We seek to avoid empty transport as much as possible’ Import Advantages Meanwhile FMS is looking at the opportunities for using the Rotterdam – Nuremberg rail service for import cargoes. “There are certainly advantages for the customer,” says Van Diggele. “For one thing there’s the fact that the Netherlands allows for the deferring of VAT.” For cargo routed via Rotterdam payment of VAT is not due until the goods are delivered, irrespective of where in the European Union the customer is located. Germany requires VAT to be paid within fourteen days of the cargo arriving in port, after which it is later reimbursed. Given the huge sums of money involved in container flows, this potentially has a significant impact on a company’s cash flow. Together with the interest costs it can make a serious difference.
Actively working on Sustainability In this way, FMS is constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to expand and broaden its service portfolio for customers. Sustainability is becoming an increasingly
important consideration in this respect. Van Diggele: “To FMS, sustainability is not new but has long been a major aspect. The same holds true for the customers we work for, including various multinationals. Sustainability is also high on their agenda.” As a concrete example of how FMS operates in this regard he points to the efficient utilisation of transport capacity. “We seek to avoid empty transport as much as possible. In striving for maximum efficiency and sustainability we definitely benefit from our network, constantly actively exchanging information about surpluses and shortages in our transport capacity.” “In any case we aim to always think innovatively,” Van Diggele says in conclusion. “For example by coming up with new ideas on how to containerise bulk flows. At times like that you’re conducting a completely different sort of conversation with your customer than your competitor.”
Direct Rail Connections with Nuremberg and Munich European Gateway Services operates a direct rail connection between ECT’s deepsea terminals in Rotterdam and the inland terminals of TriCon in Nuremberg and Munich-Riem three times a week. Booking cargo on these trains can easily be done via European Gateway Services’ Central Booking Desk, telephone +31 (0) 181 27 8308; email email@example.com.
Remote Truck Handling
The Euromax Terminal Rotterdam has further streamlined its truck handling. In the already highly automated terminal process, the final half metre of discharging and loading containers from the truck chassis is no longer done manually by employees on location but by remote operators on the eighth floor of the terminal building. That way the truck drivers can be helped even faster.
Remote truck handling was fully implemented in May 2013. The way it works is simple. As always, a visiting truck driver is informed on arrival at the Euromax Terminal about the stacking lane where he has to discharge and/or load his container. Once the truck is in place with its rear facing the stacking lane, the driver registers at the console with his Cargo Card. Via the terminal screen he subsequently responds to four safety queries, focussing on, among other things, the exact position of his vehicle and whether the twist locks have been loosened. If he responds affirmatively to all four questions, then the Automated Rail Mounted Gantry crane (ARMG) in the stack swings into action. Depending on what needs to be done, the ARMG automatically transports a container to the truck or manoeuvres itself into position to remove the container from the truck.
Safety First As soon as the ARMG comes within a few metres over the truck, the computer screen on the eighth floor of the 22
Euromax Terminal offices sparks into life. Via cameras situated at all four corners of the spreader, the remote operator has a larger than life-sized view of the outlines of both container and truck. In addition a further two cameras on the trolley afford him an overall view. This enables him to monitor, among other things, whether the truck driver has positioned himself in the designated safe place alongside the truck and has complied with all the safety requirements. The remote operator also has direct contact with the driver via the intercom so that he can talk him through the process. “I’m going to assist you now, would you care to take a look? “ Once the driver has agreed, it’s no more than fifteen seconds later that the final metres has been bridged with the aid of two joysticks to position the container noiselessly on the truck or to remove it. After that the ARMG automatically takes the crane cycle over once more.
Highly Reliable In this way, the discharging and loading of trucks goes on round the
clock, even when there’s a change of shift. Depending on the workload, three to four operators in the remote handling control room function in continuous shifts. The containers are offered to them in turn on the screen at their operating stations - something that happens automatically in accordance with the order that the truck drivers report to the stack. And should unexpected an error occur or a trucker fail to understand the instructions, then there is always an ECT staff member on hand at the stack to give assistance. Since its introduction, the remote handling system has proved itself to be utterly reliable. Weather conditions do not affect camera registration and container discharging and loading proceeds very smoothly. What’s more, the system has been secured to make slamming containers down on a truck chassis impossible. And most importantly: truck drivers have expressed their satisfaction with this new speedy handling process.
Me and My Vessel Moored at the quay of the ECT Delta Terminal, the Slidur (804 TEU) seems dwarfed by Ultra Large Container Ships. The ship, one of more than 70 vessels chartered by the world’s largest feeder operator X-Press Feeders, however plays an important role in the transport chain: the on-time distribution of containers across the various European ports. Captain Valery Bulynin from Russia sails his feeder vessel back and forth between Rotterdam, France (Le Havre) and the Iberian Peninsula (Lisbon, Vigo). During this visit to Rotterdam, the Slidur discharges and loads 600 containers. “We use a pilot when entering the port, but I manoeuvre the ship myself between the various
‘A good feeder is a reliable feeder’ terminals in the port area,” says Valery Bulynin (43). For three years, he has been captain of the ship that in Rotterdam calls at five terminals at both the Maasvlakte and the city area. “If I arrive everywhere within the agreed-upon handling window, then there is always room alongside the quay.”
Staying on Schedule Although the sailing time between Lisbon and Rotterdam is only three days, there is always the challenge to stay on schedule. Especially in the winter, when weather conditions in the famous Bay of Biscay can be bad. At times, a small ship like the Slidur can barely move ahead; on occasion, Bulynin even sees himself forced to sail around the storm. “Fortunately, we can offset any delays - either at sea or in port - by sailing full speed. A good feeder is a reliable feeder.” Weight Distribution Bulynin is happy with ECT’s service rendering for feeders at its terminals in Rotterdam. “Never a problem and the ship planners of ECT for example are well skilled in terms of the weight distribution of the cargo.” He is also
positive about the professional ship and cargo management of X-Press Feeders. Excellent Cook The crew of the Slidur consists of eleven men; the officers are Russian and the sailors Filipino. Bulynin goes on leave to his hometown St Petersburg every 3.5 months. “We try to keep the crew together. At sea, it’s important to know each other very well. And we have an excellent cook, specialized in Philippine food of course but he also prepares some mean European dishes.”
About The Slidur The Slidur was built in 2007 at the Damen Shipyards in Gorinchem, Holland Length 141 m width 22 m Draught 7.69 m TEU capacity 804 Reefer Plugs 52 Crew 11 (Russia, Philippines)
Behind the Scenes
One of the core activities of the Gate and Administration Desk is managing the data traffic surrounding the container flows for all three of ECTâ€™s deepsea terminals in Rotterdam. The better and more comprehensive the information exchange with customers, the more streamlined the handling of deepsea ships, feeders, barges, trains and trucks.
For each mode of transport, the Gate and Administration Desk has a specialised unit dealing with all data and continuously monitoring the actual situation, allowing for pro-active adjustments which benefit the flow at the terminals.
In close cooperation with customers and Customs, the approx. 100 emÂployees of the Gate and Administration Desk (including the truck counters) work 24/7 to ensure an optimum starting point for the operation outside.
Every single day, almost 10,000 documents accomÂpanying the laden containers are presented by customers. To ensure optimal service and quality, ECT strives for 100% electronic data interchange.
Through EDI, E-services and Portbase, (virtually) all information can be supplied electronically. Many companies however also still submit paper documents. Every day, this results in a substantial stack of superfluous paper.
Annually, about 1.2 million documents (two-thirds of which involve exports) still require additional manual actions. The Gate and Administration Desk does its utmost to solve any inconsistencies. At the same time, together with customers everything is done to structurally improve and digitize input.