Free Paper: The Operational Philosophy of Rotterdam



Paul Smits, Chief Financial Officer, the Port of Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands


Rotterdam is a port of pioneers. It always has been. It has a long tradition of applying ground-breaking technologies and processes. From the 'crazy' plan of Pieter Caland in 1862 to construct the New Waterway, to the high tech Euromax Terminal and the world-leading information exchange system Portbase. Innovation flows through the Port of Rotterdam like the water of the New Meuse which runs through the city.

Innovation has done us well. The port has grown to become the largest in Europe with an annual transhipment of some 450 million tonnes per annum and nearly 30,000 vessels mooring per year. This is the result of the constant effort to find how things can be done more efficiently, better and more sustainably. We want to stay ahead of the pack and be able to make a difference; this is why Rotterdam remains the ‘smartest’ port in the world.

Family, friends and future

Recently, we started 'The Smartest Port’; a robust, cohesive, border-expanding programme. Through The Smartest Port we facilitate, initiate and spur on innovation, together with businesses and knowledge institutions. Besides that, we want to ramp up innovation within our own Port Authority; therefore the programme has three mainstays: family, friends and future.

Innovation Forum

Through our ‘family’ initiative we innovate together with companies that are based at the Port of Rotterdam. The most concrete part…

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