We in Hamburg, Germany call our lovely city „The Gate to the World“, very unpretentious you see. As a company located at this very gate, we look through it and out into the world to the countless other harbours and logistics centres in the world. In our monthly blog series „From the Gate to the World to the Harbours of the World“ we want to present to you one of the countless important harbours and logistic centres of the globe.
It‘s the largest port in Europe, the port of Rotterdam… a place with incredible activity. Each minute of the day and each day of the week. Even on weekends and at night the port of Rotterdam is dominated by a non-stop bustle that reminds you of an anthill. But what is actually happening there every day? Which kind of goods get into the country and into the continent passing through the harbour? Und how many? Most people only have a vague idea of these things. We would like to take you with us on an excursion, having a look at the daily run of events.
Facts and figures
The harbour area comprises around 12.500 hectares (or 125.000.000 square metres) which include both land and water areas. Out of the 12.500 hectares, around 6.000 are company grounds. The harbour has a whole length of 42 km. Just for a better understanding, this corresponds to an eight-hour walk. A net of 1.500 km piping has been installed, and the depth of water is 24 m at the deepest spot, which gives access around the clock even to the world‘s largest containerships. Every year 30.000 ocean vessels and 110.000 inland vessels berth in the harbour, the annual handling amounts to about 465 million t of the most diverse goods. The port of Rotterdam is the bottleneck that gives access to a market with more than 350 million consumers all over Europe.
Working in the Harbour
180.000 people work in the harbour on a daily basis. It is an international and dynamic surrounding with companies in all sort of branches. In large part we talk about companies in the chemical industry, oil industry, food-processing industry and power producers, but of course it is also about logistics companies handling industry and consumer goods.
About 19% of the economically active population in Rotterdam metropolitan area work in the harbour. The opening of the new harbour area Maasvlakte 2, a completely new port on reclaimed land at an extension of 2000 hectares, will see many new vacancies in the up-coming years. According to estimates, in 2030 there will be a demand for another 10.000 employees. Due to the high demand for technically skilled labours, the harbour presents good prospects for employees.
The port operations, Port of Rotterdam (PoR), administrates and operates the harbour area and also keeps on developing it. PoR takes investments in the existing areas, in furher expanding as well as in the public infrastructure and in handling the entire shipping. PoR achieves an annual turnover of approximately 600 million € with its around 1100 employees working in the fields of commerce, shipping and infrastructure.
The harbour is your home
Just have a look around you. Whether you are at home, in the office or on the train… many of the things you sit on, you use, consume or eat regularly and that seem very common and ordinary have made their way to us through the harbour of Rotterdam. From the clothes you‘re wearing to the screen you stare at while reading this article to the content of the parcel that will be delivered to you soon… In the first half-year 2017, 238 million t of goods were handled, this is an increase of 3,9% compared to the previous year.
It is kind of crazy that so many things in our daily life have been in a container travelling thousands of kilometres by sea. And considering the continuing economic growth, increasing e-commerce and developments in the industries, this situation is not very likely to change. On the contrary, the large ports will keep the position they have in the world and in our daily life, maybe they will even gain further significance. Given that their infrastructure can meet the new requirements and challenges and manages as a whole to adjust to global changes, of course. The port of Rotterdam, however, will keep moving.