The Port of Rotterdam aims to strengthen its position as Western Europe’s biggest port for agricultural, horticultural and fishery sector products
The Port of Rotterdam aims to strenghten its position as Western Europe’s biggest port for agricultural, horticultural and fishery sector products. After the United States, the Netherlands is the world’s largest agriculture exporter. Almost €92B was traded in 2017, with Rotterdam accounting for around 16 Mtpa.
Part of this strategy is the establishment of the Rotterdam Food Hub at Calandkanaal, at the entrance to the Maasvlakte, next to the EECV bulk terminal. The site was first developed in the 1960s, but has never been occupied up to now. Over the years, potential customers have come and gone, with end uses including iron ore processing, an LNG terminal and a Russian oil refinery.
Now the 60-ha site is being prepared to offer optimal facilities for the agrifood business. Land allocation discussions are already taking place with interested parties for covering 35-ha. A further 10-ha is available. Preparatory works such as soil surveys took place this spring and the construction of a temporary road and utilities for the building work will start in June.
The development of the site, which will be known as ‘Kop van de Beer’ (Head of the Bear), will start in July with construction work for the site’s first client. The first companies will be operational there by the end of 2020.
“We aim to further accommodate our client’s growth in agrofood,” said Emile Hoogsteden, Director of Containers, Breakbulk & Logistics at Port of Rotterdam Authority (HbR). “The Rotterdam Food Hub offers excellent opportunities for this: not only are Maasvlakte’s large deep sea container terminals just a stone’s throw away, but the Rotterdam Food hub will also have access to multiple berths for sea-going vessels especially equipped for refrigerated cargo.”
Berths for inland vessels will also be available and warehouses will be located immediately adjacent to the quays to enable refrigerated and frozen cargo to be stored, processed or transported quickly. “In agrofood, we work with perishable goods, so speed is crucial,” added Hoogsteden.
Various shared facilities are available, including quays, transport, storage and customs. Existing agrifood "hotspots" in the port include Cool Port and large cold storage warehouses at Maasvlakte and Eemhaven.