The ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp are to co-operate in improving container transport to the European hinterland. The competing ports will jointly acquire shares in Duisport at Duisburg in Germany, the largest European inland port.
‘We have a joint interest in creating a junction there for our freight,’ Rotterdam port director Hans Smits told the Financieele Dagblad.
Around 10% of freight and 4% of container shipments currently travels through Duisport and along inland waterways and rail. ‘That must be much more in order to relieve congestion on roads in the hinterland,’ said Smits.
The two ports are also looking for a shared crossroads location in the south of Germany where containers can be reorganised and sent on.
The partnership marks an end to the row between the two ports and their governments about deepening the Westerschelde estuary, which necessitated the flooding of a Dutch polder in Zeeland.
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