APM Terminals Maasvlakte II has developed a 'Cool Port' barge service to make shipping in an out of the Port of Rotterdam more reliable.
The logistics surrounding the Port of Rotterdam consists of eight deep-sea terminals, 600 barges with 150 different owners, some 150,000 shippers from across Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany all relying on the port.
APM Terminals has called it a “fragmented and complex area” that affects the delivery of fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables from the terminals to the importers' distribution centres to the local European consumers.
The newly launched barge service is a dedicated daily fixed-time operation from APM Terminals’ operations in Rotterdam and Maasvlakte II to a cold storage warehouse and distribution centre established in the Waalhaven section of the Port of Rotterdam.
The facility, operated by Holland-based Kloosterboer, enables the more efficient distribution of products.
Some 35 kilometres from the traffic-congested port area, it is more accessible to trucks carrying the temperature-controlled products to inland wholesalers and their ultimate destinations, the retailers.
Containers using this service are now available at the Kloosterboer facility at 6am every day, enabling speedy pick-up and delivery by the port's customers. Less waiting time and better supply chain predictability increases the shelf-life of products.
This collaboration with Kloosterboer also ensures that many of its customers start using APM Terminals Rotterdam and Maasvlakte II for their cargo.
Direct links between the terminals and the Cool Port also enable real-time vessel arrival and container status for planning purposes.
Roy De Haan, Head of Commercial Management at Maasvlakte II, said: “We can be sure that when the containers are discharged from the vessel, we can put them right on the barge.
“We have everything controlled so we know which containers should be loaded on the barge, so we can be very efficient with that.”