Commitment decision regarding ECT’s planning criteria for barges


The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has accepted the commitment made by Europe Container Terminals (ECT). The commitment concerns ECT’s planning process for barges that transport containers between ECT’s deep sea terminals in the port of Rotterdam and its hinterland. The commitment contributes to a level playing field for container transport by barge between the port of Rotterdam and its hinterland. The draft commitment decision had been available for public consultation for six weeks. ACM did not receive any opinions during that period, and has now finalized the commitments.

Handling of containers in the port

ECT has two terminals for handling containers in the port of Rotterdam. Large sea-going vessels moor here. At these terminals, containers are transferred to barges, trains, or trucks. The barges sail on to the hinterland in order to be unloaded there. The container terminals are an important link in the logistical network of container transport. During peak times, capacity at the terminal can sometimes be scarce, and therefore has to be used optimally. Each terminal makes use of a planning to ensure that the container-handling process takes place as quickly and efficiently as possible. ECT’s planning criteria in the commitment are objective, reasonable, non-discriminatory, and transparent.

ACM and the ports

ACM is working towards creating a level playing field for companies that are active in the port because sea ports are important for our economy. In the port, goods are imported, handled, processed, and retransported. Companies that operate in the ports work together intensively. As they should, in order to process goods quickly, and to transport them from A to B. ACM wants companies that operate in the ports to compete fairly with each other, and wants them to have the same opportunities. Healthy competition allows for a thriving port sector, and for innovation. That is why ACM provides guidance and education, and takes action when competition is at risk. In this way, ACM promotes a healthy port economy.

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