Prime Minister Armin Laschet of North Rhine-Westphalia had already gained a good impression of the port of Rotterdam and its relationship with the German federated state in September 2017 – on what was actually his first official foreign visit. Today it was Traffic Minister Hendrik Wüst’s turn to visit Rotterdam, to experience the size, scale and importance of solid collaboration between the sea port and NRW first-hand.
During his visit, Wüst met with a number of people, including Allard Castelein (CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority) and Emile Hoogsteden (Vice President, Director of Containers, Breakbulk and Logistics). They discussed logistics and industrial activity challenges faced by both the Port Authority and NRW. To gain a clear picture of Rotterdam’s vast port complex, the Minister also visited a number of port areas.
The Traffic Minister’s visit to Rotterdam marks the start of talks regarding an agreement geared toward the optimisation of the hinterland connections and the logistics chain. This port agreement was already announced in the coalition agreement of North Rhine-Westphalia’s state government. The parties expect to sign the agreement after the summer of 2018.
Allard Castelein: “I am very pleased that Traffic Minister Hendrik Wüst’s first international working visit is taking place here, in Rotterdam. His visit continues the tradition established by the new government of NRW. It is testimony to our good relations and draws attention to the challenges that we, NRW and Rotterdam, have in common. Together, we aim to ensure that our clients and businesses in NRW can operate competitively within the world’s most efficient logistics chains. Moreover, we have a shared interest when it comes to finding answers to today’s challenges in the context of climate change and the energy transition. The visits by Prime Minister Laschet and Minister Wüst once again underlined our joint responsibility. Our colleagues can be found in NRW every day, and we plan to pay a return visit to Düsseldorf this summer.”
Rotterdam important sea port for NRW
The port of Rotterdam is the largest sea port in Europe. The port owes this leading position to its excellent accessibility for ocean shipping, its strong intermodal connections and the 180,000 people who work in and on behalf of Rotterdam’s port and industrial area.
Handling 60% of NRW’s cargo flows, Rotterdam ranks as the German state’s premier sea port. 2017 saw a strong increase in Rotterdam’s container throughput – by 12.3% compared to 2016. The total cargo throughput increased by 1.3% in 2017. This continued the growth trend recorded in 2016. A total of 467 million tonnes were transported via Rotterdam in 2017. This increase in container throughput was offset by decreases in the volume of dry bulk (-2.6%) and liquid bulk (-4.1%) transported via Rotterdam. Breakbulk (roll-on/roll-off and other breakbulk) throughput increased by 7%.