PortShuttle, the Port of Rotterdam Authority’s inter-terminal container exchange system, has handled its 100,000th TEU and said it is expecting to continue its growth in 2021.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority said PortShuttle expects to see an expansion of its network of rail partners in the next 12 months as it handles more cargo.
The system was set up in 2015 to organise efficient exchange by rail of containers between the Port’s terminals. Linda Borsodi, Joint Managing director of PortShuttle Rotterdam, said, “In the past, we handled everything in-house, using our own shuttle that drives past the different terminals.
“Nowadays, we take more and more advantage of space available on the trains of partner rail operators – which tend to call on multiple terminals too. We call this the Virtual PortShuttle Concept.
“Based on this concept, we are creating a network of exchange options via rail in Rotterdam.
“Although we will occasionally turn to inland shipping or road haulage where required.
“For example, when containers need to be transferred to empty depots that aren’t connected to the rail network.
“This year, we hope to get clarity as to whether or not we’ll be appointed as a service operator for the Container Exchange Route (CER) at Maasvlakte. Naturally, that would be perfectly in line with the goals that we set ourselves at the time of our establishment.”
PortShuttle makes three round trips a week but have up to 20 at its disposal due to partnerships with other rail operators.
Approximately 30% of the transported volume is exchanged between various Maasvlakte terminals. The remaining 70% is on other routes, primarily the one that runs from Rail Service Center Rotterdam to Maasvlakte and back.
On behalf of the Virtual PortShuttle Concept, the PortShuffle also handles the administrative settlement of containers moved in and out of the area by rail for partner rail operators.
Taken together, these different arrangements explain why over the past year, PortShuttle could chalk up its first six-figure total in terms of TEU volume.