Dutch Customs awards Rotterdam World Gateway AEO Certification

RWG-terminalRotterdam World Gateway says it is the first deep sea container terminal with minimal customs presence in the European Union. Ronald Lugthart, Managing Director of Rotterdam World Gateway,has received the definitive customs permit and AEO certificate for RWG, handed over by Anneke van den Breemer, Regional Director of customs at the port of Rotterdam.

Lugthart said: “Due to the high degree of automation at RWG, the introduction of a 100% pre-announcement procedure for containers and cargo via Portbase and the implementation of simplified customs procedures, over 95% of the administrative process is now completely digitised.

“This means that the administrative process can operate independently of the logistic process at the terminal, enabling fast and reliable handling.”Anneke van den Breemer commented: “As Dutch customs, our goal is to minimise any disruption to the logistic process caused by the required customs formalities. RWG and customs have recently been collaborating intensively.

“At the RWG terminal, optimal use is now being made of the simplified customs procedures. This is in the best interest of all parties: not just of the terminal and customs, but of freight forwarders and hauliers as well.”

By applying these simplified customs procedures, RWG is able to implement a fully automated gate process for road hauliers. This has great benefits for hauliers because no physical customs handling has to take place at the RWG terminal and thus no stop has to be made.

RWG adds that it is the first terminal in the port of Rotterdam to act as an Authorised Consignee, which means the customs transit will be automatically ended upon arrival at the terminal. This gives parties involved extra assurance that this transit has been cleared properly.

In addition to simplified customs procedures, constructive cooperation between customs and RWG has resulted in the establishment of a new scanning facility that is fully integrated into the terminal’s automated logistic process and operates 24/7.

Furthermore, nuclear radiation detection takes place for all truck and rail handling, and a high percentage of the containers arriving and departing by barge will be inspected as well.  Source: WorldCargoNews

Aerial view of Rotterdam Container Terminal

Aerial view of Rotterdam Container Terminal

The Port of Rotterdam, Netherlands, is the largest port in Europe covering 105 square kilometers. (Picture: Benjamin Grant/Google Earth/Digital Globe)

Accelerated Screening – Port of Rotterdam’s ability to scan cargo on trains moving at 35 mph

Picture1The days of halting trains and unloading contents for inspection appear to be over at the Dutch Port of Rotterdam, where trained operators can now use high-power X-ray scanners to produce clear, unambiguous imagery of densely packed cargo in trains moving at speeds up to 60 kilometers per hour (35 MPH).

Simultaneously, another group of operators located several miles away in a secure inspection office collect, analyze and evaluate the X-ray images for a wide range of potential threats, dangerous materials and contraband.

Because it all happens so swiftly — particularly as the containers are never unloaded or diverted individually to cargo inspection facilities — the speed of throughput increases exponentially. To be precise, Dutch Customs at the Port of Rotterdam can now inspect nearly two hundred thousand rail containers per year, or a single 40-foot container in eight-tenths of a second.

This is the future, or as in the case of Rotterdam, the present model of an enhanced global supply chain — ultra-high-speed rail throughput combined with ultra-accurate threat detection. This combination of speed and efficiency is an innovation that allows not only railways to be more secure, but the global supply chain as a whole.

Rail has long been an overlooked component of the modern supply chain, even though it is arguably one of the most important. Because of the nature of rail — with thousands of miles of unguarded track, often connecting countries — it has previously been challenging to screen and secure without causing a disruption to the supply chain. And while ports and airports typically get the lion’s share of technology innovation, all components need to be equally considered and secured to prevent interference and have a smoothly run supply chain.

For a long time, cost-minded operators have tended to view the security of rail cargo scanning and the efficiency of throughput as essentially two competing interests.

When minor security gains trigger major productivity losses — and when even small throughput disruptions can grind supply chains to a halt — it’s easy to see why rail lines have been relatively (and intentionally) under-served by global security improvement efforts.

As a result, one of the more popular rail security/efficiency compromises has been to implement a procedure for “small sample” screenings, by which only a small portion of each rail car or trainload is scanned for threats, dangerous materials, and contraband — providing a modicum of security without disrupting the core efficiency of the supply chain.

However, as malicious activities have become more prevalent and more sophisticated, “small sample” rail screenings have become increasingly insufficient. The United States Department of Homeland Security even instituted a 100% cargo-screening mandate at ports (though that mandate has since been retracted).

Accordingly, the industry has been eagerly seeking newer technology-based answers — ways to scan a larger portion of rail cargo without degrading throughput efficiency. The Dutch Customs’ solution meets higher inspection goals without detrimentally affecting the international supply chain.

Countless other customs and border agencies, companies, and national organizations are pursuing their own answers to similar and related security/efficiency challenges. For instance, rail operators worldwide are now experimenting with higher-energy X-rays for penetrating more densely packed freight cars. (When throughput lags, companies will attempt to condense their shipments into fewer cars, which can pose an obstacle for traditional X-ray scanners.)

In addition to the security factor, revenue is another motivator for government agencies to embrace this new cargo scanning technology. Customs enforcement of a freight rail (for international cargo lines) is extremely important to a country as contraband goods can cost governments hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax dollars. And smuggled contraband can also help fund organized crime and domestic terrorists, making it all the more important that rail lines not be overlooked when it comes to integrating cutting edge security.

In fact, a single malicious attack, occurring anywhere in the world, can devastate the global supply chain in its entirety, driving up prices and imposing major delays on manufacturers worldwide. By not being required to choose between 1) preventing extraordinary threats, and 2) maximizing the efficient of ordinary processes, the evolving technology can truly accelerate rail cargo screening and secure it too. Source: Rapiscan (Contributed by Andy Brown)

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

Rotterdam – The signficance of ‘hinterland’ container services

Picture1BILK (Budapest Intermodal Logistics Center) Kombiterminál has become the first Hungarian terminal to join the InlandLinks network, comprising of nearly 40 terminals across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Italy and Hungary.

InlandLinks, an initiative of the Port of Rotterdam Authority which was developed two years ago in cooperation with VITO (Dutch Inland Container Terminal Organisation), is an online platform for container terminals in the hinterland, offering intermodal services to and from the Port Rotterdam – Europe’s largest port complex

Rotterdam expects to see container flows triple over next 25 years in line with growth in world trade and the increasing size of container vessels. Of the 30 million TEU anticipated to be handled by the Dutch port in 2035, approximately 2 million are expected to be shipped in and out using smaller vessels from and to European ports. Some 18 million TEU will travel to and from the hinterland via intermodal transport, and the Port of Rotterdam hopes that InlandLinks will help to provide greater insight into better and more sustainable connections for this projected flow of cargo.

BILK, located in a suburb in the southeast of Budapest, consists of a railway station/marshalling yard, a bi-modal terminal for combined traffic, and a 70-hectare logistics centre. The terminal has the capacity to handle an annual traffic of 220,000 TEU. Source: Porttechnology.org

 

World’s fastest train scanner – Rapiscan

Rail Scanner, Port of RotterdamYesterday, 15 February, the world’s fastest train scanner was opened in the port of Rotterdam with the installation and commissioning of a Rapiscan Eagle® R60 rail scanner, on behalf of Dutch Customs. It produces images of a good quality while the train is running up to 60 kilometres per hour. The Eagle R60’s 6 MeV X-ray imaging system penetrates dense and densely-packed cargo. Installations in other countries operate at a train speed of 30 kilometres. Dutch Customs selects containers on the basis of a risk analysis. The scanner checks trains out of the European hinterland into the port of Rotterdam. Here, the containers are loaded on vessels for export outside the European Union. The scanning installation is located at the Maasvlakte area, near to the N15 motorway on one side and the Steinweg Steel Terminal on the other. Capable of detecting and identifying a wide range of threats and suspect materials, including contraband goods, drugs, weapons and explosives, as well as radioactive material, the Eagle R60 is a high energy rail inspection system, which can efficiently scan cargo containers as they travel at speeds of up to sixty kilometers per hour. When the train scanner is fully integrated in Custom’s processes, a container will only be taken out of the logistic process if the scanning image provides ground for it.  Source: Ministry of Finance /Customs, Netherlands.