Port of Rotterdam develops app to end transport of empty containers

downloadInlandLinks, the port of Rotterdam’s online intermodal platform, has developed an application to substantially reduce the transport of empty containers, the Dutch port announced on Tuesday.

Currently an estimated 25 percent of all containers shipped by road, rail or inland shipping are empty. Empty containers are returned to the owners and subsequently shipped directly back empty into the hinterland.

This results in extra costs, inefficient and unnecessary transport and also affects the environment. InlandLinks claims to have achieved a breakthrough in terms of efficiency and sustainability for the entire logistical chain.

The new online application to reduce the transport of empty containers, called ’empty depot tool,’ inland terminals where shippers and logistical service providers can pick up and deposit empty containers, and later reuse these containers for a new load. The new method allows containers to remain on the inland terminal to be reused for export cargo, instead of being returned empty.

“It is not mandatory to bring containers back immediately but the owners of the containers, the shipping companies, normally want to reuse them as soon as possible,” said Sjaak Poppe, spokesman of the Port of Rotterdam.

“Currently oweners let containers return empty if they stay in the hinterland too long. The longer containers remain unused, the larger the needed amount of containers for shipping companies will be.”

With the new tool leads to lower costs and lower CO2 emissions. A large number of shipping companies have already joined the platform, Poppe added. Source: news.xinhuanet.com