Rotterdam Expansion Will Increase Container Capacity by a Quarter

Rotterdam container capacity expansin
Impression of the new quays in the Prinses Amaliahaven (Port of Rotterdam)

Published Feb 25, 2021 6:22 PM by The Maritime Executive

The Port of Rotterdam Authority awarded contracts for the expansion of its harbor facilities with the potential to increase by more than a quarter the annual container throughput as well as provide additional space for inland shipping and future expansion. The first sections of the new dock wall are expected to be completed in late 2022 as the port works to increase capacity to deal with the expected continuing growth in container volumes.

“Particularly because of e-commerce, container volumes are increasing sharply,” explains Boudewijn Siemons, chief operating officer of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. “That will continue for the time being. To further strengthen our leading position as Europe's largest container port, we are now responding to this development by investing in the further expansion of the Princess Amalia Harbour. This is an investment that will boost the competitive position of our customers and Rotterdam.”

The expansion work will take place in a section of the port known as Princess Amalia Harbour, which was first opened in 2015. The expansion will be on both sides of the harbor, which is approximately 1.5 miles long. The project will include nearly 6,000 feet of deep-sea dock space, over 500 feet dock front for inland shipping, and over 1,100 feet of soil-retaining walls. After the work is completed all but 2,400 feet of the basin will have been developed. The first 1,600 feet is scheduled for completion in late 2022 and the final part will be completed within eighteen months after the first section.

In addition to the construction of the dock wall, the work also involves dredging to a depth of more than 65 feet. The project also includes the construction of a waiting area for general use by inland shipping vessels and a new rear crane track will be built to expand the lift capabilities in this section of the harbor. 

The port authority expects that the new harbor space will provide capacity for up to four million additional TEU increasing the port’s annual capacity by as much as 28 percent. In 2019 and 2020, Rotterdam moved over 14 million TEU each year.

Two container terminal operators, APM Terminals and RWG, are already active in the Princess Amalia Harbor. Both have already signed options for the new space and it is anticipated that they will develop the other sites around this harbor.