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Mike Knowles



'Connect, then compete' says port director

Port of Rotterdam's Emile Hoogsteden tells Cool Logistics Global operators must collaborate to improve efficiency

'Connect, then compete' says port director

Artist's impression of the Maasvlakte 2 development

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The international perishable shipping business must work harder to safeguard future growth by improving connections in order to streamline the supply chain for products including fresh fruit and vegetables, delegates attending the annual Cool Logistics Global conference in Rotterdam have heard.

Opening the conference, the Port of Rotterdam’s director of containers, breakbulk and logistics, Emile Hoogsteden, said that while competition between stakeholders including terminal operators and shipping lines remained an essential ingredient in international trade, greater collaboration and inter-connectivity would become increasingly necessary in years to come.

“Increasingly, we’re seeing a lot of exchange of goods between shippers. So we need to have highly efficient, safe, secure and reliable port logistics to manage that exchange,” Hoogsteden observed.

“Containers need to move quickly and efficiently between terminals. We are working with the terminal operators to ensure that doing business in the port is easy as possible. There is huge competition between the terminals, but we all understand that we have to bring up the level first and then compete.”

With two new terminals set to open in the Maasvlakte area of the Port of Rotterdam, bringing the total number of terminals there to five, connectivity is a priority for the port authority, Hoogsteden added.

“We are working on a system where we connect all the terminals in the Maasvlakte area so it can be treated as one terminal.”

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