External effects on the port

Research: 2017-2018

Understanding trends and developments provides better decision-making information for investments in maritime infrastructure.



Quantitative scientific research has been done to determine which short and long-term developments have consequences for the future infrastructure that will be required in the Rotterdam port. The identified trends and developments are combined in so-called narratives. The narratives help the Port of Rotterdam Authority and companies in the port with making decisions about investments in future maritime infrastructure.

Based on the research the narratives are:

  1. Stagnation of container transport – Underlying combined trends include: aging of population and decreasing consumption in hinterland, less globalization, declining productivity of employees.
  2. Decrease of volumes of fossil bulk and raw materials.
  3. Modal shift – Room for establishing a better balance between rail transport, road transport and inland shipping towards the hinterland.
  4. Renewable energy hub – Rotterdam becomes a renewable energy hub. (Underlying development: transition of the petrochemical clusters towards using sustainable raw materials and producing green energy.)
  5. Recycling hub – Rotterdam becomes a recycling hub for storage and processing of waste. (Underlying development: circular economy.)

Wind energy as leading activity – Converting wind energy into electricity, with coherent processes, is the leading activity in the port area.


  • How can port authority and companies translate narratives into specific decision-making information for their maritime infrastructure investment strategy.


  • Through better insight, better decisions can be made about investments in the maritime infrastructure. In that way, the port will remain future proof.


Port of Rotterdam Authority, SmartPort,
Knowledge partner: TU Delft

External effects on the port - trends and developments

“This research challenges the Port Authority to be aware of the effect of trends and developments on infrastructural development and asset-management.”

Egbert van der Wal

manager port engineering, Port of Rotterdam Authority

Direct contact

More information

Contact our project developer Dirk Koppenol for more information about these and other projects and how you can be part of the SmartPort Community.

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