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Rotterdam – more Brexit contingency parking lots

The Port of Rotterdam and the Dutch infrastructure authority have created a total of 700 contingency parking slots for driver-accompanied trucks that do not meet UK customs requirements come 29 March in the event of a "no deal" Brexit

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Originally the port said it would have two contingency parking lots ready in time for Brexit Day, each with space for 100 trucks. Now, 700 slots will be spread across five parking lots on both banks of the River Maas.


If this should still prove insufficient, additional space can be added, Rotterdam port authority (HbR) said. The measure is meant to avoid congestion at the ro-ro terminals.


Simulations carried out jointly by the Port of Rotterdam and the port’s five UK traffic-oriented ro-ro terminals have indicated that each day an average 400 trucks may need the contingency solution. This equals about 12% of the average 3,300 trucks that the five ro-ro services carry westbound to UK ports from Rotterdam.

Map of the Brexit contingency parking lots
Map of the Brexit contingency parking lots

Lots 1 and 2 are meant for Stena Line in the Hook of Holland. Lot serves DFDS in Vlaardingen. Lots 4 and 5 serve CLdN Ro-Ro (the easternmost terminal), plus Stena Line and P&O Ferries (the two westernmost terminals).


The dedicated parking lots are to be used by trucks that have been denied access to their ro-ro terminal for not having had their cargo checked-in electronically (in advance) via Portbase - Rotterdam’s service bureau for shipping documentation-related EDI. Portbase’s special chain solution for Brexit is designed for a smooth cargo passage to and from the UK.


Contrary to earlier assumptions, the five lots will not feature Dutch customs, food inspection or immigration officers. They are primarily aimed at giving drivers time to have the procedures fixed. Most of them will have free wifi.


The lots are located on or near the motorways to the five ro-ro terminals. There are three on the north bank, serving DFDS in the port of Vlaardingen and Stena Line (ro-pax) in Hook of Holland and two on the south bank for C.Ro (CLdN Ro-Ro), Stena Line (ro-ro freighters) and P&O Ferries (ro-pax).


HbR noted that there are no facilities in place yet for veterinary inspections for livestock being shipped from the UK to Rotterdam.


The port handles about 40 Mt of the total annual 54 Mt moving between the UK and the Netherlands, predominantly unitised cargo moving by ferry or shortsea lo-lo.

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