Rotterdam uses barges for intercity cargo movement

Jan van der WielEuropean Gateway Services (EGS) and Danser Group have started operating the new ‘Intercity Barge’ connection. For the time being, the partners have scheduled three inland shuttles per week between the ECT terminals on Maasvlakte and other terminals and depots in the Waal- and Eemhaven area, Merwehaven, Botlek, Alblasserdam and Ridderkerk.

Within this initiative, ECT guarantees a free quay for the Intercity Barge – provided the vessel realises at least 200 container transfers per run. Intercity Barge therefore focuses on bundling cargo at the aforementioned terminals and depots, which will allow it to travel straight to and from Maasvlakte with large call sizes.

The Port of Rotterdam claim that by expediting the handling of containers, the Intercity Barge is able to improve the competitive edge of the inland shipping sector. Every year, over 12 million container units are put through Rotterdam, of which over 3 million are moved in and out of the port by inland vessel.

The initiative aligns with the targets agreed on in the sector-wide inland container shipping consultations. It was set up in response to various reports regarding increasing waiting times at Rotterdam’s deep sea terminals.

Recently the CEO of the Rotterdam port Authority, Allard Castelein, called upon the European Union for further investments in the infrastructure of ports and hinterland connections to help improve the economy and competitiveness of Europe.

Castelein aims at expanding the so-called Connecting European Facility (CEF) with European energy transition projects. With this recommendation, Castelein joins ESPO and 40 partner organisations, who recently made a like minded call in Ljubljana.

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