Port of Rotterdam is speeding up sustainability drive
30 August 2023
There is no doubt that a lot will change in the port of Rotterdam in the coming years. The government laid out an ambitious plan earlier this year. In just seven years, they want the majority of all trucks in the Netherlands to drive emission-free. It is a wonderful yet very challenging goal. How is the port of Rotterdam preparing for this?
The logistics sector, too, – or perhaps especially – needs to move towards increased, faster and more targeted sustainability. This has undoubtedly also been the government’s idea, which has led them to set an ambitious goal: to almost completely get rid of diesel trucks in just a few years. Whether this is imposed by law or we do it of our own accord, there’s simply no getting away from it. With current climate changes, sustainability is necessary in both the short AND long term.
By 2030, diesel trucks will have largely disappeared from our streets. With the exception of a limited number of hydrogen trucks, the electric truck will dominate. Research agency TNO predicts that 90% of all trucks passing through the port of Rotterdam in 2040 will be electric. With these facts in mind, there needs to be a turnaround in our industry. Diesel is passé; e-trucks are the future.
Port of Rotterdam takes the lead
The drive for so many electric trucks on the road means sufficient available charging points are, of course, the top priority. The port of Rotterdam has decided to take the lead in this. With plans to open several heavy-duty charging stations as early as this year, they hope their initiative and infectious positivity will inspire the rest of the market to follow suit.
Assuming the huge volume of e-trucks in 2040, there should be over two hundred public charging stations in the port of Rotterdam. The first charging stations will open at various truck parking lots in Rotterdam as early as this year. Registering usage will allow for the collection of important data. In the meantime, those behind the scenes will be finding out whether there is enough power already in place or to what extent grid reinforcement, costly or otherwise, will become a necessity. Whatever the case, grid operators will be facing major challenges in the years ahead.
Rotterdam achieves a first with public charging stations for heavy traffic
But where should all these charging stations be located? Charging takes longer and needs to be done more often than refuelling, so sufficient space is key. This means that existing petrol stations are actually mostly unsuitable. A solution appears to be coming in the form of truck parking lots. These often have enough space and facilities such as security, sanitary facilities and catering. At the moment, the port of Rotterdam is constructing charging stations in the Waalhaven district.
For now, Rotterdam is the first and only port to invest in public charging stations. Other ports, for various reasons, are currently lagging behind. But we as an industry shouldn’t just wait and see. As great as this initiative is, many charging points will obviously have to be put in place at companies. The most important thing at the moment is to take stock of the situation with grid power. So-called grid congestion (i.e. there is more demand for electricity than capacity available) is an issue, which means that not quite everything is possible yet.
Want to know more?
Need some more background information? You can read it in this article, previously published by us in March 2023. We regularly report on developments in electric freight transport in our monthly newsletter. You can subscribe here completely free of charge.
Source for data: TNO & Port of Rotterdam through Nieuwsblad Transport
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