Rotterdam to tender new transport service

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has announced that it will be requesting tenders for the provision of a new transport service that enables container terminal operators at Maasvlakte to exchange containers via an dedicated road.

This dedicated road, commonly known as the Container Exchange Route (CER), was especially constructed for this purpose. The European tender announcement concerns both the supply of hybrid transport vehicles and the actual transport of the containers (Transport As A Service). In this hybrid format, the vehicle can run both completely autonomously and operated by a human driver.


The Port of Rotterdam Authority decided on this solution in view of the contribution hybrid autonomous transport can make to optimising efficiency of container exchanges between terminals, while simultaneously offering operators freedom of choice when it comes to timing on how containers are transported on their terminal. The Port of Rotterdam Authority intends to appoint its subsidiary PortShuttle as operator of the CER. In effect, this means that PortShuttle will be responsible for planning transport runs, administration and invoicing.


The transport vehicles will operate completely autonomously between the different connected terminals on Maasvlakte. From the moment a vehicle leaves the CER proper and enters the terminal site, it can either continue its route steered by a human driver or on an autonomous basis. This is up to the individual operators, and may differ from company to company – depending among other things on how the terminal grounds and facilities are laid out.


Following the publication of the request for tenders on the TenderNed website, sector parties are invited to contact the Port of Rotterdam Authority to indicate their interest and submit their tender for review. Provided one or more of the submitted proposals offer attractive terms, the Port Authority intends to select a winning bid from these tenders – with this selection being either provisional or final – in the first quarter of 2021.

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