Wim van Sluis, the member of the Rotterdam Municipal Executive with responsibility for the cityÂ's port, wants to implement an ambitious 'action plan' in an attempt to attract more cargo.
As well as discounted port charges, his plan includes investments in links with RotterdamÂ's hinterland. Van Sluis revealed the plan to the City CouncilÂ's Port Committee on Wednesday morning. It will have to approve certain elements of the scheme. The measures proposed by Van Sluis include freezing seaport fees for the second year in a row. But in 2003 he also wants to freeze wharf charges and port fees for inland shipping.
Another proposal is that the port management be given scope to negotiate more individual charging arrangements. Van Sluis is considering adding an additional 3 per cent discount to the portÂ's room for negotiation. That, however, would apply only if more cargoes were actually shipped through Rotterdam.
Van Sluis regards the measures as 'a signal to the market'. And he emphasises that they are not solely about reducing charges. There would also be more money for investments in links with the portÂ's hinterland: not just physical ones, but also in people to promote Rotterdam abroad. Other measures are designed to improve service at the port. For example, the port management will pay the costs of transporting containers to and from the customs scanner there for the next two years. And, under the leadership of the customs service, the checks carried out by all 15 different inspection services at the port are to be better co-ordinated.
All these measures will cost in total nine million euros.
(source: Port of Rotterdam)