FAST FORWARD spring 2010
Second Chance for Long-term Unemployed Youngsters quayside Renewal Delta Dedicated North Terminal Duisburg: the Rotterdam Rail Hub
FAST FORWARD CONTENTS
Colophon Fast Forward, a business-to-business publication of ECT, appears three times a year. Please contact our
Communications Department with any questions or suggestions you may have regarding the contents. Copy Rob Schoemaker, Rob Wilken (editor-in-chief) Translation Niall Martin, Dean Harte Photography Eric Bakker (unless stated otherwise) Layout Ontwerpwerk, The Hague Printing Thieme MediaCenter, Rotterdam External coordination RWP, Voorburg Chief editor ECT Rose Wiggers Europe Container Terminals (ECT) Europe Container Terminals (ECT) is the largest and most advanced container terminal operator in Europe, handling almost two-thirds of all containers at the port of Rotterdam. ECT operates three deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam: the ECT Delta Terminal and the Euromax Terminal (with the CKYH Alliance) on the Maasvlakte peninsula, close to the North Sea, and the ECT City Terminal in the Eemhaven close to the city centre. Currently, ECT is developing a network of inland terminals to facilitate better intermodal transport between Rotterdam and the European hinterland. In 2009, ECT handled 5.95 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 50 ports, spanning 25 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia. HPH also owns a
number of transportation-related service companies. In 2009, the HPH Group handled a combined throughput of 65.3 million TEU worldwide. No rights can be derived from this publication.
P.O. Box 7385, 3000 HJ Rotterdam, the Netherlands T +31 (0) 181 278 278 E firstname.lastname@example.org | W www.ect.nl
Second Chance for Long-term Unemployed Youngsters As part of the so-called Revit project, a tenth group of long-term unemployed young people is attending a course at ECT to become port workers. Most of the participants from the earlier nine courses have already found steady employment in the port and, with that, have a promising future.
Quayside Renewal Delta Dedicated North Terminal
Duisburg: the Rotterdam Rail Hub for Europe
This year, the quayside of the Delta Dedicated North Terminal will be fully renovated. In total some eleven hectares of terrain will be resurfaced. It’s a major job, which will be undertaken with daily operations carrying on as much as possible.
Working together with rail operator Kombiverkehr and using the extensive rail facilities of its neighbour Duss, the ECT inland terminal DeCeTe in Duisburg is able to offer attractive onward connections to and from 70 destinations throughout the whole of Europe.
We will continue to invest! ‘Sustainable Transport is Cost Reduction’ “With the current way of working, transport in Europe will inevitably grind to a halt in the future,” says Wando Boevé in his capacity as chairman of EIRAC, the European Intermodal Research Advisory Council which was established in 2005. As Director of Marketing & Sales at ECT, he is at the same time already working on solutions to prevent this from happening. “Through our European Gateway Services with its network of Extended Gates, we offer optimum and sustainable access to the hinterland.” 4-6 7
News Barge Terminal TCT Venlo Operational
Inland Shipping goes Full Service
Frequency, Capacity, Flexibility
Me and My Vessel
With 2010 now well underway, the global container sector has shown a positive volume trend in the first quarter of this year. However, it is still way too early to start rejoicing. The information which comes to me from different sources is quite diverse. This makes it difficult to ascertain whether the upward trend is actually structural or of a more temporary nature. Fact is that economies all over the world have been hit hard by the recent crisis; its impact will continue to be felt for a long time to come. Currently, this can clearly be seen in the countries of Southern Europe. But in our own country, the recent collapse of the government is also not really conducive to a quick economic recovery. We as ECT look towards the future with confidence though. For that, we carefully keep our fingers on the pulse of things. At any given time, we want to be able to provide our customers and other logistics partners with an optimum service and performance. Our policy is aimed at quickly accelerating operations should market circumstances really improve. The challenges we are facing however are quite substantial. The impact of the economic crisis on the container sector will mean overcapacity in North-western Europe for many years to come. In addition, there is the uncertainty we face from the comingon-stream of new container facilities on Maasvlakte 2, Rotterdam’s newest port area. If new capacity is brought on the market too soon, the market will only further deteriorate. In this difficult-to-predict market, it is not easy to develop a sustainable and adequate strategy. A conservative investment strategy could very easily be justified. But this is not what ECT will do! We will continue to invest in the quality of our customer service. This year, we will for example address the refurbishment of the Delta Dedicated North Terminal and the Eastern Rail Terminal of the Delta complex. At the Dutch - German border, we have taken into operation the new inland barge terminal of TCT Venlo. What’s more, with our European Gateway Services, we will unabatedly continue to work on creating an optimally and sustainably accessible European hinterland, with more and more emphasis on transport by train and barge. These are all steps that will benefit our customers - exactly for whom we are doing all this. It is my firm conviction that in partnership with our customers and other parties, much more is possible. Together, we can continue to grow in terms of quality and service. As a result, the total costs of ownership of the container from the factory to its final destination can further decrease. Last year, we proved this under difficult economic circumstances and we are definitely ready to prove it again in the times ahead.
Jan Westerhoud President of ECT 3
Improved Cooperation, Less Red Tape Since 1 January 2010 all government bodies involved in the inspection of sea-going vessels have brought their operations better into line with one another. This smarter working in a coordinated way results in fewer hindrances for ships calling at the port. The workload for crews will be reduced and the operating costs for the shipping lines will drop.
Six Quay Cranes on a Single Ship
Betuweroute even More Attractive
The dedicated freight-only Betuweroute railway line between Rotterdam and Germany is becoming more and more attractive. Since late 2009 trains departing from the ECT terminals on Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte can travel non-stop to the German border and vice versa. As part of the Betuweroute, the Port Railway Line has now been electrified at 25 kV and equipped with the ERTMS safety system for this, as was already the case on the rest of the line (the A15 section of the Betuweroute). In the old situation prior to full electrification container trains were therefore required to switch locomotives at the beginning of the port. Now this is no longer necessary. To further boost use of the Betuweroute, rail infrastructure operator Keyrail will offer rail hauliers a discount on extra trains deployed on the 160 km state-of-the-art railway line in 2010 and 2011. Such discounts can run to as much as 40 percent. The number of trains using the Betuweroute is expected to rise to some 350 a week in 2010, up from around 200 trains a week in 2009.
Since the beginning of this year, the Delta Dedicated East Terminal (DDE) and Delta Dedicated West Terminal (DDW) can deploy six quay cranes simultaneously for handling deep-sea vessels. The quay at both terminals has been equipped with a sixth lane for Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) for this. This means that six AGVs can run alongside one another and reach all the cranes without hindrance to one another. With this expansion ECT is responding to the increasing economies of scale in the container shipping sector. Bigger vessels with larger call sizes are visiting at Rotterdam port. Using six cranes simultaneously the DDE and DDW are able to discharge and load these vessels in the most efficient way possible - provided of course that the containers are positioned evenly across the entire ship.
Tour de France takes off from Rotterdam This year Rotterdam will host the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. As such one of the world’s greatest sporting events will start in the city that boasts one of the world’s largest ports. “Between the Rhine and the Meuse, the Tour will depart with its feet in the water,” says Christian Prudhomme, Director of the Tour de France. Close on 200 riders will compete in a nine kilometre prologue in Rotterdam on Saturday July 3 before leaving the port city the next day on the first stage to Brussels in Belgium.
Rotterdam has linked the theme ‘New Energy’ to the Grand Depart. Both the city and the port itself are working hard to boost sustainability in the region, and cycling provides the perfect metaphor. Cycling is good for the environment and good for health and as such it’s an example of sustainability in practice.
For more information: www.tourdefrancerotterdam.nl
Rail Service Center Rotterdam expands
The Rail Service Center Rotterdam (RSC), situated directly alongside the ECT City Terminal, has been expanded. The four rail tracks making up the northern cluster have each been extended by 150 metres to 750 metres. In addition these tracks - like their counterparts in the southern cluster - now also connect directly on the west side with the Port Railway Line, the starting and end point of the Betuweroute dedicated freightonly railway line between Rotterdam and Germany. Thanks to this new connection, the northern tracks of the rail terminal are more easily accessible for container rail shuttles to and from the Maasvlakte. This has greatly enhanced the efficiency and flexibility of the train network in Rotterdam. In addition, the three hectare expansion of the RSC site has boosted the handling capacity by 50,000 units to 400,000 containers.
All about European Gateway Services ECT is increasingly offering clients and other logistics partners additional services for an optimal throughput of containers between the deep-sea terminals in Rotterdam and the immediate European hinterland. To provide (potential) customers with the whole picture regarding these European Gateway Services, all the relevant information has been collated on www.ect.nl under a separate menu option with the same name.
Euromax is a Winner The Euromax Terminal on Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte has won the Port Image 2009 (Havenbeeld 2009), a new prize awarded annually by the Port of Rotterdam Authority to the best-looking port company. ‘A world class port should also look like one’ is the underlying idea. The Euromax Terminal of ECT and the CKYH Alliance was awarded the prize principally for its striking office building, a real landmark right on the sea at the entrance to the port. In its report, the jury praised the building’s extremely striking and strong lines. “The building has a neat and robust style in keeping with the
port, a style that has been maintained throughout the entire complex. From different vantage points the building takes on a different form and character. Depending on the weather conditions it also changes colour due to its pale hue.” ECT sees the award of the Port Image as a vote of encouragement for its policy, in which optimal service to customers goes hand in hand with a regard for the environment, people and society. The Port Image 2009 prize consisted of a sculpture by the artist André van Wijdeven.
Construction Work in Progress
HPH Global Community The Hutchison Port Holdings Group (HPH) has a strong tradition of supporting local communities. Many of the business units in HPH’s worldwide network - including ECT make a serious effort to offer local support. Every year the magazine HPH Global Community publishes an overview of all those activities. The 2009 edition is now available for downloading via the www.hph.com website, menu option ‘About HPH > Corporate Publications’.
Artificial Reef alongside Euromax
photo Max Milikan
The ECT Delta complex on Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte boasts two rail terminals: Rail Terminal West (the biggest) and the Eastern Rail Terminal. The latter is situated directly behind the deep-sea quay and is due to undergo major renovations in 2010. After more than 25 years, the 775 metre crane path for the two railway cranes urgently requires replacing. The cranes themselves will also undergo renewal. The work will be carried out in two phases so that ECT can continue to serve its rail customers in the best way possible. However, it does mean that for discharging and loading, shuttle trains will have to be split into two. ECT has made satisfactory arrangements about this with the rail hauliers and operators. In addition, ECT aims to handle as many trains as possible via the Rail Terminal West during the building operations. The revamp of the Eastern Rail Terminal will be completed in the first quarter of 2011.
In the Yangtze harbour basin on the Maasvlakte, the port of Rotterdam is experimenting with a new type of shoreline reinforcement to prevent erosion by the water. The reinforcement has been placed along the slope between the new Euromax Terminal and the neighbouring Gate Terminal. The project, initiated among others by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, producer Anome, Public Works Rotterdam, the Delft Technical University and the State Water Authority, involves the placement of so-called ground consolidators. These wire-like elements hook up to one another to create a stable structure resembling a sort of artificial reef that is much lighter than traditional reinforcing structures constructed from asphalt or cement blocks but just as strong.
Barge Terminal TCT Venlo Operational After two months of intensively testing the crane and training the staff, the barge terminal of TCT Venlo is now actually operational. To start with, ECT’s inland terminal on the DutchGerman border will maintain a scheduled inland barge service to ECT’s Rotterdam terminals at both the Maasvlakte and in the city area. To this extent, Danser Container Line functions as the barge operator.
Thrice-weekly, their vessels moor at the 155-metre-long quay in Venlo. In between, the inland terminal is also already handling other inland barges on an ad hoc basis: the new facility can count on a great deal of interest from the market.
Integral Part of TCT Venlo
The container barge crane, built by Künz in Austria, is 35 metres high and has a hoisting height of 26 metres. The total span is 85 metres, 26 metres of which is above the water. On the landside, the crane is used for both the handling of trucks and the stacking of containers. The crane has a maximum lifting capacity of 41 tonnes; the behemoth itself weighs 420 tonnes.
The new barge terminal is an integral part of TCT Venlo, ECT’s successful rail terminal for more than 25 years which is situated just down the road. Here, truck drivers take care of the administrative formalities as regards
the delivery and collection of the inland barge containers at the do-it-yourself desk. Next, they report at the gate of the inland barge terminal; the staff there then immediately know the purpose of the driver’s visit and directly spring into action. In no time at all, the truck is ready to hit the road again.
Official Opening The new inland barge terminal constitutes an important addition to the range of services offered by TCT Venlo as an Extended Gate of ECT and also adds real value to the Venlo region in general. To mark this milestone, the terminal will officially be opened this summer.
Revit Project Great Success
ECT offers Long-term Unemployed Youngsters Second Chance As part of the so-called Revit project, a tenth group of long-term unemployed young people is attending a course at ECT to become port workers. Most of the participants from the earlier nine courses have already found steady employment in the port and, with that, have a promising future. The city of Rotterdam has a relatively high level of youth unemployment. Especially youngsters who for whatever reason have not completed their education have difficulty in finding work. As a result, a substantial group is at risk of slipping through the cracks of society. These long-term unemployed young people have no work ethic, find it hard to comply with rules, etc. It is a vicious circle in which the distance to the labour market only becomes greater and greater for those involved.
ECT Early Adopter On the initiative of the municipality, ECT and some other companies in the Rotterdam port therefore came into action five years ago to also give this group a chance. Through the so-called Revit programme, the youngsters are offered a fully fledged practice-oriented course to become port workers. Jasper Hooykaas, Director Operations & Human Resources of ECT: “We as ECT were an early adopter. The project fits in perfectly with our commitment to socially responsible entrepreneurship and social involvement with our surrounding areas. Through giving young unemployed people the chance to obtain an officially recognized certificate, we want to offer them a gateway to the labour market, either at ECT or elsewhere in the port. Everyone benefits from Revit: the young people themselves of course, but also the city of Rotterdam and ECT.” ECT itself selects the young people who are eligible for training within the company. Aad Scholten, Manager Industrial Relations and Labour Conditions, is convinced that
this is an essential part of the success of the Revit programme. “In previous projects prior to Revit, civil servants would make that selection. As a result, there was often a substantial mismatch between the candidates and the needs of ECT. By selecting them ourselves we can already separate the wheat from the chaff in an early stage. One of our staff members knows the port like the back of his hand and has a keen insight into human nature. He knows exactly what ECT needs and what kind of young people fit that picture.”
‘The Revit programme has totally changed my life. I seized this unique opportunity with both hands’ ECT itself also needed to carefully think about the most optimum manner to shape its participation in the Revit programme. Scholten: “We only have qualified work. A factually unskilled youngster cannot just enrol in our standard training. The beginning of the process is therefore more or less aimed at bringing the participants up to a certain minimal standard.”
Embedded within the Company The youngsters who participate in the Revit programme at ECT are initially trained for the position of on-board radio operator or longshoreman. That training takes nine months and includes a combination of work and education. 9
‘You see the boys and girls changing during the course’
Supervisor Bert Lek (l) and Director Operations & Human Resources Jasper Hooykaas: “We want those boys and girls to have a second chance in life.”
Four days a week, the young people learn the ins and outs of working in the port in practice under the guidance of an instructor, the fifth day they go to school. Hooykaas: “Upon completion of the course, the trainees are assessed in the very same way as everyone else who follows the course with us. During the training, the Revit youngsters however are supervised much more intensively than the ‘regular’ intake. There is one highly involved instructor for every three youngsters and if necessary social counselling is offered as well. In addition, we exercise more patience with this group. Due to their prolonged unemployment, they must learn to deal with regularity again. The first thing we do, as we sometimes say, is give them a course in telling the time. But eventually, the young people will have to do it themselves. This is by no means a token project.” Scholten: “The strength of the Revit programme furthermore lies in the fact that the training has been fully embedded in the existing structures of our company. We make as little fuss as possible about it. Training the young people in addition is widely supported throughout the entire company. It is not a project from the ivory tower of the Board. Many of our employees have children themselves and they realize that they would be happy too if their child was offered a second chance.”
New Target Group for the Port An additional advantage is that Revit unlocks a potential new workforce for the port. Traditionally, the port area has always been the domain of white Dutch males. For a long time now, this however has not been an accurate reflection of today’s multicultural society anymore. About half of Rotterdam’s population has a different ethnic background. The Revit project succeeds in involving those people in the port as well. Scholten: “Many of these ‘new’ Rotterdammers have no idea what the port entails. This is partly due to the 10
“You can only do this work if your heart’s in it,” says Bert Lek, the supervisor coordinating the day-to-day running of ECT’s Revit programme. “Our mentors are dyed in the wool and have tons of life experience. It’s all about giving the youngsters confidence and paying them attention. They’re often disappointed by what’s happened to them in their lives. We want to get them out of that situation. To do that it’s essential to be clear and straightforward: to tell them what they can expect from us and what we expect of them. Our aim is to equip them with a good skills set and give them another chance in society. To date, we’ve been pretty successful. You see the boys and girls change during the course of training. That’s a very special thing. One of the highpoints for me is when somebody comes up to me in the street and says, ’Look Mister Lek, I got my crane-drivers certificate’. That gives me goose bumps. You know about their previous problems and that getting that diploma was far from easy for them.”
fact that the physical port activities have over time moved further and further away from the city centre. In everyday life in the city, the port is hardly noticeable. For non- traditional port families, the port is consequently not top of mind. All this however is now changing and the workforce of ECT is increasingly becoming a more accurate reflection of society.”
True ECT Employees The tenth group of long-term unemployed youngsters which started the programme at ECT in September 2009 will complete their training in May 2010. At least 250 of the approximately 300 Revit trainees from the nine previous training courses in Rotterdam have found a job in the port, several of them at ECT. Hooykaas: “Several of them have by now already climbed up to the position of crane driver. We however hardly know anymore which people within our company have followed the Revit programme; we do not keep track of this. As soon as you have obtained your certificate, you are a fully fledged ECT employee.”
Quayside Renewal Delta Dedicated North Terminal
In addition to developing new high-end capacity at the Euromax Terminal and despite the difficulties of the current economic situation, ECT is also continuing to improve and upgrade its existing container terminals. This year, the quayside of the Delta Dedicated North Terminal (DDN) will be fully renovated. In total some eleven hectares of terrain will be resurfaced. It’s a major job, which will be undertaken with daily operations carrying on as much as possible. By early 2011 the DDN will be fully equipped to meet the highest standards, now and in the future.
Removing 13,000 m3 of concrete bricks, 4400 m3 of street layer and 22,000 m3 of sand cement, before 40,000 m3 of concrete is poured as new reinforcement, together with some 20,000 transponders. That’s the challenge the building contractor needs to meet between May 2010 and January 2011. The renovation is sorely needed. The DDN (which started out as the Delta/Sea-Land Terminal) was in 1992 ECT’s first fully automated terminal. Eighteen years of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) continually plying the same route have definitely left their mark on the terminal floor. The resultant ruts and bumps could in the future disrupt the smooth running of daily operations. “The renovation has been scheduled for some time,” say ECT’s Operations Manager Ton Leenderts and Consultant Infra structure & Equipment Daan Quak. “The work was held up first by the pressure of activity and subsequently by the economic crisis. But now it’s time to start.”
Concrete Layer of 36 cm Based on price, quality and sustainability, builder Heijmans has been selected as the contractor for the job. The builder will first remove the greater part of the existing terminal
layer before replacing it with a new reinforcing concrete layer of 36 centimetres thick. This new terminal surface will be considerably stronger than before. Leenderts and Quak: “That’s a necessity. In the early years, AGVs had a wheel pressure of some thirteen tonnes, now that’s more than twice as much. The demands on the new terminal surface are therefore comparable to those for an airport runway.”
Two Phases The renovation of the Delta Dedicated North Terminal will be undertaken in two phases, so enabling half of the terminal to stay in use for daily operations while the refurbishment work is being carried out. That amounts to around 500 metres of quay and all 34 stacking lanes, of which half will however only be accessible from the landside. The contractor will start with the renovation of some 56,000 m2 of quay terrain flanking the Delta Barge Feeder Terminal (DBF). This is estimated to take around three and a half months. Subsequently an additional month has been set aside for rebooting operations. Immediately thereafter a start will be made on renovating the other half of the terminal over a similar period of time.
Sustainability Sustainability is key in the construction project. Leenderts and Quak: “The contractor will ship the thousands of tonnes of rubble by boat for re-use as far as is possible. Raw materials for the construction project will also be transported by boat, while the concrete will be made on the Delta Barge Feeder Terminal using two mobile plants.” Taken together this will save many kilometres of road transport. In addition the A15 traffic artery and the Delta Terminal itself will not become unduly congested.
Future Fit During the project ECT will also be implementing a number of other modifications. By shifting and modifying several quay cranes, the DDN will gain additional capacity for handling the largest deep-sea carriers. At the same time the transfer points of the stacking lanes will be modified to enable so-called twin carrying: the transport of two 20-foot containers by a single AGV. In addition, the revamped terminal will boast six parallel AGV lanes rather than the current five. Leenderts and Quak: “By early 2011 the DDN will be fully-equipped to meet the highest standards, now and in the future.” 11
Inland Shipping goes Full Service Inland shipping is an unprecedented plus for Rotterdam and that’s the way it will stay. After all, which other modality can reliably deliver up to 350 TEU at a time to, say, Switzerland, in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way? Danser does that every time - and more. Managing Director Ben Maelissa: “For lots of destinations we can organise the entire journey from seaport to final destination.”
Danser’s area of operations has traditionally been the Upper Rhine. With five of its own push-tow combinations - each with a capacity of 350 TEU - and a number of chartered vessels, the inland shipping company together with a French partner, operates regular scheduled services from Rotterdam and Antwerp via Strasbourg and Ottmarsheim in France, Kehl and Weil in Germany to Basel in Switzerland. “In Basel we have our own organisation and terminal which acts as a hub,” Maelissa explains. “Taking into account all the stops along the way, containers reach Basel from Rotterdam in five days. Going with the current, the return journey takes just three days.” In addition, the inland shipping company operates a separate service from the seaports to Mannheim and Stuttgart, two of central Germany’s most important economic centres.
Port Equalisation Danser is also very active closer to home. The inland shipping company plays an important role in the port equalisation between Rotterdam and Antwerp. Deep-sea services calling
Danser Group The Danser Group is a privately-owned Dutch company, founded in 1984 by Hein Danser. Ben Maelissa and Maarten van der Valk became co-shareholders in 2000. They run the company together with Danser’s widow, after her husband died in 2004. The Danser Group activities are spread over the operating companies Danser Container Line, Danser Benelux, Danser Switzerland and ARS Agencies in Antwerp. In total the group employs 110 workers.
at just one of these ports rely on inland shipping for the onward transport of their containers. Port equalisation still is an important activity within the sector, Maelissa says, but not to the same extent as ten years ago. “Deep-sea carriers have become increasingly more adept at organising their sailing schedules.” With a charter fleet of some 30 large and small inland barges, Danser also maintains regular connections to many other destinations in the Netherlands and Belgium, such as Bergen op Zoom, Vlissingen, Dordrecht, Meerhout, Zeebrugge, etc.
Cooperation with ECT For ECT Danser operates the inland shipping connections to and from three of the terminal operator’s Extended Gates: TCT Belgium (since 2001), CCT Moerdijk (2007) and TCT Venlo (2010). Maelissa emphasises that this doesn’t happen automatically. “ECT evaluates the situation anew every time. They are always looking for the party who can best serve the shipping route in question.” In this respect the Managing Director sees a clear added value though in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) the two parties signed in early 2008, in which they pledged to together improve the inland shipping product. “It’s certainly been more than just another piece of paper. The MOU has resulted in better communi cation and an open way of working. That has led to a better mutual understanding and as a result we can really strengthen one another.”
Full Service Danser always aims to become a partner for its customers. For the most part the inland shipping company is commissioned by shipping lines and merchants, mainly forwarders. Maelissa: “We’re able to organise the entire journey for them from seaport to final destination; so not
‘The power of partnerships’ “At ECT we’ve learned that working together on hinterland routes absolutely offers added value,” says Paul Ham, General Manager Business Development at ECT. “The power of partnerships is that by teaming up and hooking up to one another’s networks, you can feed one another: in terms of operations, but also commercially. Such partnerships can vary by region or type of activity. That’s no problem at all. We think that hooking up and working together in networks is definitely the way forward.”
only the sailing itself, but also transhipment, customs clearance, ongoing road and rail transport, etcetera. It’s a growing business. Customers concentrate on their core business and we do the rest. In Basel, for example, we also offer rail shuttle connections from our terminal to the east and the southwest of Switzerland. From only sailing we increasingly offer full-service.”
Advantages Of course sailing remains at the heart of the operation. Maelissa recaps on the advantages inland shipping has to offer: “Transport is reliable, extremely environmentally friendly and an interesting proposition from a cost point of view.” He dismisses as ‘nonsense’ the counter-argument that inland shipping is too slow. “We always sail according to schedule. For me, that’s the same as speed. Opting for transport via inland shipping involves organising the associated logistics efficiently. Interplay, that’s what it’s all about.”
“Inland shipping is reliable, extremely environmentally friendly and an interesting proposition from a cost point of view.”
That goal of greater interplay and cooperation is also reflected in the area of information technology. Together with four other operators in the sector, Danser is currently developing the management information system MIS Cobiva. With this system the inland shipping companies themselves, their customers and other interested parties will be able to trace vessels and their cargoes with the aid of GPS data. What’s more, MIS Cobiva allows for the input of various other data. Each link in the logistics chain - including authorities such as the Ministry of Transport and Water Affairs, the national police services or the Rotterdam Port Community System Portbase - can draw information from the system and offer their own input. Maelissa: “We have since developed MIS Cobiva to the level that we can actually start implementation. Also container terminals like ECT can link up their in-house computer systems and reap the benefits. Based on the data in MIS Cobiva, they can for example attune their operations to the inland barges’ expected time of arrival and so make optimum use of quay capacity. Moreover, ECT doesn’t always know by which mode of transport containers will be departing or arriving. With respect to inland shipping containers they’ll be able to see that in MIS Cobiva too. Subsequently they can take such information into account in their operations. Everybody gains if this kind of information is shared in advance.” 13
The Growth Strategy of Unifeeder
Frequency, Capacity, Flexibility Since early 2010, Michael Bonde has been heading the rapidly growing Benelux head office of Danish shipping line Unifeeder in Rotterdam. His task is to further expand the position of the largest feeder operator for Northern Europe from here, also in terms of new sailing areas and shortsea. “We are clearly in the market for expansion.” Rotterdam is rapidly gaining in importance as a feeder hub for the ScanBaltic region and Russia - something which Unifeeder’s Michael Bonde can definitely confirm. “In early 2009, we had ten weekly calls in Rotterdam; now, there are seventeen. What’s more, we foresee additional growth.” Rotterdam’s changing role has also become apparent in terms of Unifeeder’s own workforce. “Just two years ago, we set up an own office here which employed ten people. By now, we have a staff of more than 32 and in the course of 2010 we aim to further expand by twenty percent.”
Advantages Rotterdam With its increasing focus on Rotterdam, Unifeeder is following the example of the deep-sea carriers. These are increasingly choosing Rotterdam as their feeder hub for Northern Europe. “Our slogan is that we always follow the cargo.” According to the 41-year-old Dane, the cost benefits that the ocean carriers have in Rotterdam compared to the northern German ports are at the heart of the cargo shift. The favourable location of the container terminals on the North Sea gives them an advantage in terms of shorter steaming times as well. “In addition, Rotterdam boasts a 14
wealth of outstanding facilities for handling the largest deep-sea vessels with ditto call sizes.”
Close to the Customer Unifeeder aims to meet the requirements of its customers at any given time. Frequency, capacity and flexibility are key in that respect, says Bonde. “We always do our utmost to gear our departures to the sailing schedules of the deepsea carriers. We call at each destination at least twice a week. In addition, we flexibly adjust our capacity in conformity with market demand.” For this, Unifeeder works with a pool of 35 chartered vessels, ranging in capacity from 700 to 1400 TEU. Depending on the supply of cargo, the shipping line capitalises on its ability to switch these vessels between the different services. “Our planning centre in Aarhus, Denmark, each day evaluates the situation and acts accordingly.” Bonde emphasises that Unifeeder always wants to be as close to its customers as possible. “We are in constant contact with their transhipment departments.” In the end, being as cost-competitive as possible per transported unit of course is also what matters. “Scale is important for this; feedering is really a volume business. As Unifeeder, we are a prime example of this.”
“In early 2009, we had ten weekly calls in Rotterdam; now, there are seventeen.”
More Shortsea Besides feedering, Unifeeder also endeavours to focus more on shortsea transport. Although moved aboard the same vessels as feeder containers, it’s a separate business unit for the shipping line which requires a completely different approach. Bonde: “Each unit needs much more individual attention; however, we believe that the market size is highly interesting.” He is convinced that intra-European door-todoor transport holds continuous substantial growth potential for Unifeeder. “So far, we seem to have only scratched the surface of this market. Our goal is to bring more balance between feedering and shortsea. The ambition is to accelerate the growth of the shortsea business.” To this extent, Unifeeder is for example investing in own 45-foot, high-cube containers. In Rotterdam, the shipping line mainly handles its shortsea containers via the ECT City Terminal. “Although we also use others in this port area, the City is our main terminal for this type of cargo.”
Good Cooperation with ECT Generally speaking, Bonde is satisfied with the services of ECT. “We consider them a strategic partner. The overall service is good. Each week, we consult with one another about operational matters.” The acting General Manager of Unifeeder Benelux indicates that there always has to be a good balance between the quay space available for handling deep-sea vessels and feeders. In that respect, the Delta Barge Feeder Terminal is a good idea. “Although as far as we are concerned, too many barges are of course handled there.” Other improvements that he would like to see are an expansion of the operations of the Central Feeder Registration Point (CAF) of ECT across all five of the company’s deep-sea terminals and additional space at the ECT City
Terminal to accommodate the growing shortsea-volumes of Unifeeder. He also has a specific request directed at the Port of Rotterdam Authority: more competitive and attractive harbour dues for the feeder sector.
Expansion In many ways, Unifeeder is thus actively working on expanding its position. Without going into detail, Bonde indicates that in the near future, the shipping line is also considering serving other sailing areas than Northern Europe from Rotterdam. “We are clearly in the market for expansion, both through acquisitions such as our take-over of IMCL, the largest feeder operator in Poland, at the end of 2009 and geographically.”
Serious Business Furthermore, Unifeeder is fairly advanced in terms of sustainability. Bonde: “We are the first shipping line to feature a CO2 calculator on our website; one that has been verified by Det Norske Veritas.” For any given route, the tool shows the exact difference in CO2 emissions between the use of Unifeeder vessels and other modes of transport. Sustainability is serious business, explains Bonde. “We do a lot in that respect, for example via the use of low sulphur bunkers and the active promotion of the European Motor ways of the Sea concept. It has already concretely yielded us a number of new customers. Also worth mentioning is that on average, our vessels are four years old; among the very youngest in the industry. Seventeen of them have been delivered to Unifeeder as new buildings.”
Never Tyred-out Europe’s largest independent wholesaler and distributor of car tyres is located in the inland seaport of Moerdijk. Situated just a couple of kilometres down the road from the CCT inland terminal, one of ECT’s Extended Gates, it is from here that Inter-Sprint serves regional wholesale companies, retailers and fitting stations with more than 4500 different types of tyres, particularly for passenger cars.
“The proximity of the CCT inland terminal was an important argument for us to relocate our warehouse and distribution centre from Rotterdam to Moerdijk in the south-west of the Netherlands six years ago. Now that CCT also functions as an Extended Gate of ECT, things have become even more
Extended Gate CCT Moerdijk The inland terminal of CCT Moerdijk is one of the Extended Gates of the deep-sea terminals of ECT at the Maasvlakte (see main text). As part of ECT’s European Gateway Services, various extra options are available in this respect. The most extensive of these is Premium Service. The inland barge transport between the Maasvlakte and Moerdijk then takes place under the customs license of ECT and within a previously agreed upon time limit. It is not until CCT that the container becomes the responsibility of the customer again. Other options are Paperless Service (similar to Premium Service but without the time guarantee) and Release Service. In the latter, ECT arranges for the check-out of the container at Customs and the customs clearance at the deepsea terminal. The connecting hinterland transport however takes place under the customer’s own customs license. For more information or direct bookings, please contact CCT on telephone number +31 (0) 168 33 42 70, e-mail email@example.com. You can also contact the central desk of ECT’s European Gateway Services: telephone +31 (0) 181 27 83 08, e-mail EGSplanning@ect.nl.
attractive. After our containers have been discharged from the deep-sea vessel in Rotterdam, they are immediately put aboard an inland barge to arrive at CCT within a day. There, formalities such as customs clearance are dealt with. For us, this is convenient, fast and direct. We therefore move up to 98 percent of our maritime containers through CCT. We either collect the boxes there ourselves or CCT delivers them to us, a two-kilometre drive. If we are in a great hurry, we of course send a truck directly to the container terminals at the Maasvlakte, about 75 kilometres from here. Logistically speaking, our situation here is optimal. We can also efficiently return our empties to CCT.” Speaking is Piet van Belle, logistics manager and location coordinator at Inter-Sprint, Europe’s largest independent wholesaler and distributor of tyres for passenger cars, vans and trucks. Starting out in the early seventies as a single retailer in Rotterdam, Inter-Sprint evolved into a retail chain. From the mid-eighties, the company gradually also started to position itself as a wholesaler and distributor and expanded into new countries, new brands and new markets. From the 75,000 m2 warehouse in Moerdijk, the company nowadays serves the whole of Europe with fifty own trucks. Van Belle: “In the past 40 years, much has happened and we have expanded on all fronts. The circulation of tyres has increased from a few hundred per year to many millions; our range has also been greatly expanded and in terms of
“Now that CCT functions as an Extended Gate of ECT, things have become even more attractive.”
sales we are now active in large parts of Europe. What has not changed though is the Rotterdam mentality of just rolling up our sleeves and getting the job done. We know what we’re talking about. If it concerns tyres, then you need Inter-Sprint, the authority in the tyre sector.”
At CCT’s Backdoor Inter-Sprint does business with dozens of manufacturers around the world: established parties as well as new comers. Tyres which are produced in Europe, such as those of Michelin, Vredestein and Continental, arrive by truck; those from China, Korea, the United States and Brazil come in by sea. Van Belle: “The ratio between land and sea depends on the range which we are carrying at that moment and is currently about fifty-fifty. Most of the maritime containers reach us via CCT. Near the CCT inland terminal, literally at their backdoor, we have established an extra warehouse. Our transport & planning department determines where we can best store our supplies.” After arriving at the distribution centre, the tyres are manually sorted, stored, sold and packaged per customer. Next, they are moved by own trucks all over Europe. Van Belle: “We carry 4500 to 5000 different products, from very popular tyres to specialties. A complicating factor is that tyres all look alike: they are black, round and have a hole in them. What’s more, they are hard to read as barcode labels
s ometimes have a tendency to come off.” The customers are retailers (traditionally the biggest purchasers), regional wholesalers and the own retail chain of course. Van Belle: “Our commercial staff focuses on pricing every day; we constantly monitor our competitors, just as they are monitoring us. The internet is becoming increasingly more important in that respect.”
Sustainability The assortment of Inter-Sprint is demand-driven. The company can only exercise a limited degree of influence in this respect, for example through discount actions or availability. No matter what though, quality always plays a key role. Van Belle: “In short: a manufacturer cannot afford any mistakes; the quality of tyres has improved significantly over the last couple of decades. Bad tyres are not made anymore; each tyre does however have its own weak and strong points. In general, the current dominant trend - also for tyres - is sustainability.”
Unscathed by the Crisis Inter-Sprint survived the economic crisis relatively unscathed, states Van Belle. “People are hanging onto their old car for a longer period of time; this obviously benefits parties which serve the replacement market. When consumers drove significantly fewer kilometres for a while, we did however feel the impact of this.” 17
Johan Stelten (l) and Wouter van Dijk: “Containers from Rotterdam arriving here at DeCeTe are simply driven by internal transport over to the appropriate Kombiverkehr through train.”
“We have to make it even clearer to potential customers that a great part of Europe can be accessed by train via Rotterdam in the fastest way possible.” Johan Stelten, Managing Director of the DeCeTe inland terminal and Wouter van Dijk, Managing Director of Optimodal, the Dutch subsidiary of German rail operator Kombiverkehr, are adamant that together with ECT and the Duss rail terminal they offer an exceptional product. This all starts with the Betuwe Express, the joint daily rail shuttle introduced in April 2009 by Kombiverkehr/Optimodal and ECT/DeCeTe. Each day the train connects the ECT terminals on Rotterdam’s Maasvlakte with the inland terminal in the heart of the Ruhr area, Germany’s most important economic region. Departing from Rotterdam in the evening, the shuttle reaches Duisburg that same night. Stelten: “Here at DeCeTe we offload the containers.
Inland Shipping as a Basis Alongside rail, DeCeTe also offers a wide range of inland shipping options. The terminal is situated directly on the river Rhine and commands 900 metres of quay with four quay cranes. Each day a dedicated inland barge shuttle maintains a connection with the ECT terminals in Rotterdam. In addition DeCeTe has a twice weekly inland shipping connection with Antwerp and a shortsea link with Goole and Tilbury in the UK.
Around 50 percent is destined for the local market, and half is bound further into Europe.” A chance but unique feature that helps in this is that DeCeTe is situated right alongside Duss, a major rail terminal which numbers DB Netz and Kombiverkehr among its shareholders. From here the latter maintains rail connections to 70 destinations throughout the whole of Europe. Stelten: “Containers from Rotterdam arriving here at DeCeTe are simply driven by internal transport over to the appropriate Kombiverkehr through train.”
Excellent Match A major advantage of the entire concept is that DeCeTe is also in an excellent position to offer interim storage. Stelten: “The containers can be sent to us by train immediately on arriving in Rotterdam by deep-sea vessel. We put them in storage and despatch them at the right time to the connecting train. Obviously the same holds true for cargoes bound in the opposite direction to Rotterdam. Where empties are concerned, we can also take care of maintenance, repairs and so on here at the terminal.” Van Dijk adds: “Duss has always been a terminal geared to the rapid transhipment of continental cargoes; there is little or no room for storage. This gives an extra dimension to the added value provided by the collaboration with DeCeTe. Most important of all however, is that in this way we are able to create an excellent match between continental and maritime cargoes. As one of Germany’s biggest rail operators
Duisburg: the Rotterdam Rail Hub for Europe Working together with rail operator Kombiverkehr and using the extensive rail facilities of its neighbour Duss, the ECT inland terminal DeCeTe in Duisburg is able to offer attractive onward connections to and from 70 destinations throughout the whole of Europe. A single telephone call is enough to arrange the speedy delivery of containers by train from Rotterdam via Duisburg to their final destination - and vice versa. To and from Leipzig, Dresden and Munich, for example.
Kombiverkehr is seeking to attract more maritime cargo. As their Dutch subsidiary that’s our most important mission at Optimodal. We’re actively working on it - and not just out of Rotterdam. The Betuwe Express for example, already partly travels through to Dortmund. When cargo volumes increase further we’ll obviously be deploying two separate trains in the future.”
‘Just a single telephone call from the customer is enough to arrange the entire journey’
Ninth Rail Track Enthusiastically Stelten points a ninth rail track of 1000 metres out on the map. Duss will take this additional line into service in April 2010, thereby creating new opportunities for handling maritime trains. “In between that new length of track and our own DeCeTe track are Duss’s existing eight railway lines taking the Kombiverkehr trains further into Europe. With that ninth track we can supply these trains with containers from both sides, preceded by interim storage on the DeCeTe site if required.” Moreover, the track of 1000 metres creates the opportunity for handling trains of that length in one go. Deployment of such trains, which are exceptionally long in European terms, is currently at an experimental stage. DeCeTe, Kombiverkehr/Optimodal and Duss are in any case well prepared.
A Single Phone Call “Just a single telephone call from the customer is enough to arrange the entire journey from Rotterdam via Duisburg through to the final European destination,” Van Dijk resumes. The four collaborating partners arrange the correct alignment of operations and ensure the seamless transfer from one link to another in the logistics chain. The product is excellent, so both men are convinced. Van Dijk: “We market the product together. Rotterdam - Leipzig and Rotterdam - Munich, for example, are both A/C-connections. That is to say, departure on day one means that the container has reached its destination on day three.”
Part of the ECT Network DeCeTe is one of the Extended Gates in the ECT network for European Gateway Services. However, for cross border traffic between the Netherlands and Germany the inland terminal has not yet attained the appropriate customs status to allow for customs formalities to be concluded at DeCeTe rather than at ECT in Rotterdam. “Together with ECT who is in the lead here, we are working hard to change that,” says Stelten. “The Dutch customs authorities have since given the go-ahead. Now it’s a question of consultations with their German colleagues.”
‘Sustainable Transport is Cost Reduction’ “With the current way of working, transport in Europe will inevitably grind to a halt in the future,” says Wando Boevé in his capacity as chairman of EIRAC, the European Intermodal Research Advisory Council which was established in 2005. As Director of Marketing & Sales at ECT, he is at the same time already working on solutions to prevent this from happening. “Through our European Gateway Services with its network of Extended Gates, we offer optimum and sustainable access to the hinterland.” EIRAC consists of 50 stakeholders and decision-makers from all sectors of the European transport industry. In 2005, they were asked by the European Commission to offer advice as to the future of cargo transport. In order to efficiently deal with the ever-increasing volumes, the Europe of 2020 needs an adequate and sustainable transport system. From the point of view of the European Commission, co-modality is the key word in that respect. Shippers must be able to choose from various modes of transport alongside one another. Wando Boevé wants to go one step further though. “As far as I am concerned, co-intermodality is the way of the future. Depending on the circumstances, it must always be possible to select the best mode of transport for that moment and also switch and vary between them. It is quite evident that with the current way of transporting in Europe, we will inevitably grind to a halt at some point. In fact, this was almost already the case just before the economic crisis. Just-in-time was becoming just-too-late and just-too-much. The crisis has given us as a sector the much needed time to catch up with the logistical hick-ups, which fortunately is actually also happening. Thanks to government incentives, plenty of infrastructural investments are being made in Europe.”
Organising Logistics Differently For Boevé, investing in infrastructure is just one side of the story. “We will definitely need to start organising logistics in a different manner. Right now, the truck is dominant. Although this sector is working hard to bring about improvements, road transport is not the most sustainable mode of transport. The stake of rail and inland shipping needs to be increased. And this in accordance with the principle of what I like to call co-intermodality. Sometimes you take the train, other times an inland vessel, or - the moment you are really in a great hurry - still the truck. 20
Within one single transport route, different modalities can also be perfectly used in conjunction with one another. For this, you definitely need large trimodal hubs from where you can optimally organise the transport though. This is something that we as ECT are also explicitly working on ourselves.”
‘Not just a modal shift is needed, but a mental shift as well’ From CO2 to CO3
“The areas which we as EIRAC advise the European Commission on are very diverse,” says Boevé. “From the simplification of documentation and cross-border traffic to influencing socio-economic aspects and much more.” The think tank however is also proving itself as an organisation which manages to bring parties together for the realisation of joint projects. “If you want optimal intermodal transport by rail and inland vessel, then cooperation is crucial. No matter how big you are, on your own you simply won’t have enough volume. In addition to a modal shift, a mental shift is therefore needed as well. That for example is also what the EIRAC project of Sergio Barbarino, R&D Principle Engineer of Procter & Gamble, aims to bring about. From CO2 we need to move to CO3: Collaboration Concepts for Co-modality.”
Creating a Platform Boevé dreams of an universal platform for the consolidation of cargo for intermodal transport. That however is not as easy as it sounds. “If three people drive in one single car from A to B, then this costs 100 euros. If another person takes a second car and drives the same route, this will cost him
â€œThrough our own network, we offer optimum and sustainable access to the hinterland.â€?
ECT’s Extended Gates In order to efficiently transport containers in thick flows by train or inland barge between Rotterdam and the European hinterland, ECT currently has Extended Gates in Amsterdam (northern Netherlands), Moerdijk (south-western Netherlands), Venlo (on the German border), Willebroek, Avelgem (both in Belgium) and Duisburg (Germany). Through its European Gateway Services, ECT offers a comprehensive range of services around these Extended Gates, ranging from Premium Service, via Paperless Service, to Release Service.
the same amount. But how much is it worth to him if he can get in the same car as the other three people? As mentioned earlier: that is not as easy as it sounds.”
Higher Occupancy Rate Boevé is convinced that intermodal transport and the sharing of cargo can yield various considerable benefits in terms of sustainability, costs and efficiency. He calculates that annually, hundreds of billions of euros are involved in European cargo transport. “Currently, the occupancy rate of all that transport does not exceed 45 percent. Just imagine what the impact would be if you were to increase occupancy rates to 70 percent. The existing infrastructure will be utilised much more efficiently. What’s more, sustainable transport is cost reduction. The number of transport kilometres decreases and with that your fuel costs. Of course it’s important that you can protect the earth through sustainable transport. The bottom line however is that sustainable transport is first and foremost financially beneficial.”
are perfectly capable of doing; this is where we clearly stand out from terminal operators who only focus on the discharging and loading of deep-sea vessels. Through our own network, we are opening up the European hinterland to optimize transport in a sustainable way. This is an area which we as ECT definitely want to further develop.”
Logistic Circles Boevé also calls for a different way of dealing with information. “The time that knowledge was power is truly behind us. The crux nowadays is sharing information. This benefits all parties involved.” Boevé disputes that not enough information is available within the current logistics chains. “That information is there alright; due to the linear organisation of the logistics chains, it however is not always in the right place. I therefore strongly support the development of logistics circles in which information takes centre stage. All parties can then use that information as they wish and ensure that their part of the chain functions in the best possible way.”
Beyond Loading and Discharging
Push instead of Pull
Crucial to the consolidation of cargo is the presence of sufficient volumes at one single location. “That is only the case in mainports such as Rotterdam. Without enough cargo, intermodal connections are not possible or only in low frequencies. Co-intermodality and, with that, sustainability will then quickly come to a halt. As ECT, we have an excellent point of departure here in Rotterdam. With our European Gateway Services and our network of Extended Gates (see box, ed.), we are working on an optimally and sustainably reachable hinterland.” ECT is noticing a great degree of interest in those services. “We are increasingly being approached by both shipping lines and forwarders with the request to assist in the sustainable organisation of European hinterland transport. Something which we
For ECT, optimum information makes it possible to even better serve its customers. “For example, suppose that each day 1000 containers need to be moved from our deep-sea terminals at the Maasvlakte to our inland terminal of TCT Venlo on the Dutch-German border. The recipients there however each individually organise their own transport. Just imagine how more efficient things would be if we at ECT have advance information about those containers. Instead of a pull system, we can then switch to a push system in which we move these containers to the hinterland by train or inland barge in thick flows. This is already happening, but there is definitely still a lot of room for improvement here.”
ME AND MY VESSEL The favourite dish of Captain Martin Weisel is a nice steak with a big potato and salad. This makes the SAEC service of shipping line Hamburg Süd, which connects the east coast of South America and the ECT City Terminal, ideal for the amiable 54-year-old German master of the Rio Madeira. The 5908-TEU vessel has an amazing 1365 reefer plugs, more than any other ship. Not surprising, since foods (including meat) constitute an important part of the north-south trade.
Why is captain the best job in the world? Weisel laughs. “Everybody loves you. It is also quite a privilege to manage 25 people in such a manner that they optimally work together to quickly and safely get the vessel to the next port. Each has his own role to play in this and is equally important. For that, everyone needs to trust one another and receive the appreciation which is due to him.” Most exciting experience ever at sea? “A sailor’s wisdom: only a fool is not afraid of the sea. When there is a
problem, you can’t just park your vessel at the side of the road and wait for the AA. Again, what I find really exciting is that all your men work together as a team to deal with the perils. This is only possible if everyone feels positive and validated.” If I want to want to brag about this vessel, I say… “This brand-new and beautiful ship is so easy to manoeuvre, even fully loaded and that means 120,000 tons. A ship is like a woman: the better care you take of her, the better she will treat you.”
The Rio Madeira was built in Mangalia (Rumania) in 2009 and is one in a series of six Rio sister ships. Length 286m width 45m draft 13.80m TEU-capacity 5908 reefer plugs 1365 Crew 4 Germans, 6 Poles and 15 Filipinos. Loop Rotterdam, Tilbury, Hamburg, Antwerp, Le Havre, Santos, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio Grande, Santos, Itaguai (Rio de Janeiro) in 42 days.
Why Rotterdam and ECT? “A hassle-free port, easily accessible from the sea, pleasant people, wellorganised, excellent pilots. The authorities are also always very obliging. The same goes for ECT: very professional and nice facilities. And friendly.” Nicest places in Rotterdam “Those remarkable Cube houses in the city centre, the marina for sailing ships and various nice restaurants.”
Sustainable ECT Examples of ECT’s Initiatives for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Towards 100 Percent Electric “All 92 Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) at the Euromax Terminal are powered by diesel-electricity and by now four of them are being deployed at the ECT Delta Terminal as well. Per AGV, this equates to about 15 percent in fuel savings in comparison to the latest generation of diesel-hydraulic vehicles and, with that, substantially lower carbon emissions. Compared to the very first AGVs, the fuel savings per transported tonne are even more substantial. The diesel-electric principle of a generator coupled to electric motors also significantly reduces the likelihood of oil spills. It goes without saying that the AGVs take ultra-low sulphur fuel.
We are constantly striving for major and smaller improvements. Shorter routes across the terminal, for example, or more efficient starting / stopping procedures, smarter maintenance and a reduction in the number of revolutions per minute, without compromising in terms of performance of course. From engineer to mechanic, we are thus always busy with ideas to make our AGVs more sustainable. The use of alternative fuels such as LNG and hydrogen, hybrid powering, etc: they are all opportunities for the future. The ultimate goal is to have all of our AGVs fully powered by electricity in 2020.”
Paul Middelburg [l] (Infrastructure & Equipment), Peter Pijl (Technical Maintenance Service)
Published on Feb 6, 2012