From truck to train in Port of Rotterdam

A true modal shift has taken place in the Port of Rotterdam, where a rail terminal and truck operator agreed to shift the last-mile transport to the local railway service, called Port Shuttle. This eliminates a truck journey back and forth, rail terminal RSC points out.

The carrier which made the modal shift is Overmeer, which previously drove its trucks to the Maasvlakte to pick up a container. “It now picks up the containers at RSC Rotterdam, after having first deposited another container for terminals on the Delta”, an RSC spokesperson explained.

Empty/full journeys

With this shift the companies not only eliminate truck journeys in general. It reduces the so-called empty/full journeys per truck, thereby diminishing inefficient road journeys. These journeys are now made by PortShuttle, which is a dedicated last-mile train calling on the terminals of the port. “This makes Overmeer the first road transport operator that consciously chooses to reduce empty and inefficient road journeys via PortShuttle and the RSC Rotterdam”, the spokesperson said.

From Rotterdam most containers are transported by truck to their destination. This causes a lot of pressure on the motorways around Rotterdam and elsewhere. The Port of Rotterdam Authority, governments and the port business community strive to further increase the share of rail in European freight transport. Rotterdam’s ambition is to increase the market share of rail at the port from 11 per cent in 2016 to 20 per cent in 2030.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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