The competitive position of the Port of Rotterdam not only depends on its location and ability to service the largest sea going vessels, but more and more on its connections with the hinterland. Barges play an important role in the transport of containers to and from the hinterland and in the accessibility of the port. The current modal split in the hinterland container transport of Rotterdam is approximately 30 % barge, 10% rail and 60 % road. With the increasing container volumes and congestion problems on the roads, barge transport has to play a more prominent role. To enable growth of container barge transport new strategies regarding barge services, operations and container handling processes in the port are required. This paper presents a perspective, based on the implementation of a so-called Barge Hub Terminal in or near the Port of Rotterdam, which assumes that barge hinterland services are offered via this intermediate terminal. This idea has much in common with the concept of off-dock (near-dock) railterminals used for rail hinterland transport of US ports. After discussing the current situation in the port of Rotterdam in more detail; the Barge Hub Terminal is presented discussing the general ideas, different type of operations, possible terminal locations and layout. The paper includes the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the Barge Hub Terminal concept and finalizes with the conclusions.


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