Friday Focus: Rotterdam’s Container Exchange Route


The Port of Rotterdam has commenced the construction of its Container Exchange Route (CER) and, in the first of a series of videos, looks at what the project means for Europe’s largest port.

Described as “an internal connection” between all of the large container terminals currently operating at Maasvlakte I and II, as well as empty depots around the port, CER is expected to create a much more cohesive community of facilities around Rotterdam.

Used by a transport operator, CER will be used to move large volumes of containers around various terminals, connecting a range of stakeholders including operators, the customs office and distributors.

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In addition to this, the route can also be used to transport smaller volumes of containers, serving as an alternative to transhipping with sea-going vessels.

The aim of the project, according to Rotterdam, is to make it “as easy and economical as possible to exchange containers”.

The port is the first internationally to set up a container exchange route on this scale, setting it apart from the competition and solidifying Rotterdam’s status as Europe’s premier container shipping hub.

Vincent Campfens, Port of Rotterdam, discusses digital ports in a recent Port Technology technical paper

Once construction of CER is completed, IT infrastructure must be organized and implemented to ensure the smart planning of the route, linking the system of each terminal to a CER system that will manage how cargo is transported between different facilities.

It has been predicted that, once fully operational, thousands of containers will move along the route every day. This number could even increase to the hundreds of thousands.

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