The port of Rotterdam is one of the world’s largest seaports and the largest deep-water port in Europe. Ultra large vessels can enter the port directly from the Atlantic Ocean respectively the North Sea. This is particularly relevant for the container vessels, which are continuously growing in size. Not only are the vessels growing in size, but Rotterdam’s port is continuously expanding as well. This includes container services such as break bulk and heavy lift. It has evolved as a “full-service-port” for out of gauge shipments. Certain port sections are specialized in the handling of project cargo shipments. Technical equipment for handling the various types of overweight and oversized cargo is available. That includes heavy duty port cranes as well as floating cranes. Also, accompanying service sectors like companies for seaworthy packing of out of gauge cargo or companies specialized in warehousing of oversized cargo are right on site”, says John Touw, director of the Karl Gross office location in Rotterdam. “The good inland connections of the port are also of advantage.”
Convenient connection to the network of waterways
The port of Rotterdam is a real alternative to for example Antwerp.
Having the port of Rotterdam at their very doors, our specialists in Rotterdam know well the possibilities that the port can offer. ”Regarding project cargo shipments to and from Southern Germany, the “Ruhrgebiet”, Austria or Switzerland, the port of Rotterdam is a real alternative to for example Antwerp”, says John. One of the reasons for this is the convenient connection of the port to the network of European waterways.
“The river Rhine connects the port of Rotterdam to a vast network of inland waterways reaching to Western, Central, and Eastern Europe”, says John. “Often times, project cargo shipments are simply too voluminous or too heavy for road transport. The port’s connection makes it easy to use barge transportation for pre carriage and on-carriage.”
Break Bulk – too heavy for road transport
Not long ago, this came to the advantage for one of our customers, a manufacturer of machinery and industrial equipment located in Southern Germany. Machinery components needed to be shipped to the USA as fast as possible. Amongst others, the shipment included three cases with a weight of 148 tons, 133 tons and 84 tons. “When machinery or parts of industrial plants are shipped, it is quite common that cargo pieces weigh more than 80 tons”, says Andreas Wippern, Head of Business Development in Rotterdam. “For such heavy cargo pieces, performing pre or on-carriages entirely via road transportation is often impossible.”
This was also the case for the three cases and an alternative transport solution needed to be found and organized. The heavy lift cargo pieces were shipped to the port of Rotterdam via barge where they were transloaded onto a conventional vessel. To save time, the cases were lifted directly from the barge onto the vessel using the vessel’s own lifting equipment”, explains Andreas, who supervised the transshipment. After proper securing of the freight, the vessel set off for the USA.
No detours for imports and exports
For imports and exports to or from non-European countries, the port of Rotterdam offers another advantage. “For many shipping lines Rotterdam is the first port of call in northern Europe for imports and last for exports”, explains Andreas. This often results in shorter transit times for ocean freight shipments. “When shipping machinery and industrial plants, time is often a critical factor. Usually, we have to act fast. For example, shippers or consignees located in Southern Germany can benefit from shipping via the port of Rotterdam in two ways: the transit times of the ocean freight journey are shorter compared to ports in Northern Germany and transit times for barges concerning pre and on-carriage are shorter too”, knows John Touw.
Shippers or consignees located in Southern Germany can benefit from shipping via the port of Rotterdam.
“The port of Rotterdam has great potential for international project cargo shipments – we make use of the advantages and our customers benefit from that,” says Andreas.