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Rotterdam delays with inland waterway shipments

The port of Rotterdam has been confronted with delays in the handling of shipments through inland waterways for some time. FENEX (the trades Association representing Dutch forwarders) has discussed these issues regularly with the Port of Rotterdam authority and RWG (the terminal which has been affected the most by the delays).

In early September, the Port of Rotterdam will chair a meeting involving FENEX, shippers’ organisations and the German and Swiss transport and freight forwarding associations.

FENEX intends to cooperate with the other involved organisations, in order to address the freight forwarders’ (and their customers’) issues as well as possible. They also intend to propose the following solutions for the congestion issues:

  • Ensuring sufficient handling capacity for inland waterway transport, through (among other solutions) hinterland hubs;
  • A more efficient usage of handling capacity: i.e. bigger call sizes for barges by consolidating shipments;
  • Ensure that deep sea vessels call at Rotterdam within planned time windows.

FENEX has therefore asked CLECAT (who represents forwarders at an EU level)  to consult the wider European freight forwarding community on the following questions, which they have sent to their own members:

  • Have you or your Members been affected by the congestion problems? If yes, please describe the negative effects (like delays, extra costs, lost customers)
  • Have you seen diversion of goods flows to other ports or other modalities?
  • Do you see the congestion as a structural or incidental issue?
  • Do you agree with the proposals and whether there could be additional or other solutions?

Please provide feedback to r.windsor@bifa.org by 24 August 2017

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