Rotterdam 2013 port tariffs below 2008 level

9 Nov 2012

• Port of Rotterdam Authority gives massive discount for fourth year in a row
• 2013 discount higher than 2012
• € 5 million to stimulate sustainability projects in port

Port dues in Rotterdam will be lowered next year to below the 2008 level. The existing discounts will be maintained, inflation will not be passed on again and the Port of Rotterdam Authority will be giving an extra 2% discount on the port dues. In addition to this, € 5 million of the port dues will be devoted specifically to initiatives from the business sector aimed at making the port more sustainable. This is what the Port of Rotterdam Authority decided following constructive consultation with Deltalinqs (the Ports and industries’ association Rotterdam) and the VRC (Association of Rotterdam Shipbrokers and Agents).

For several years now, the Port Authority has been giving discounts and not passing on inflation, due to the economic crisis. In 2013, this will result in an 8.6% discount compared to port tariffs if inflation had been passed on over the past few years and no extra discount had been offered. As a result, shippers will jointly pay around € 30 million less to the Port Authority in 2013.

Hans Smits, CEO of the Port Authority: “Although throughput is rising slightly, a lot of companies are having a tough time. We hope that this massive discount will help our clients and bind cargo to Rotterdam. So it works both ways. We are also sending out a positive signal by spending an extra € 5 million on initiatives by the business sector to make the port more sustainable.”

Wim van Sluis, president of Deltalinqs: “The port of Rotterdam is strengthening its position, as the biggest and best-quality port, with increasingly competitive tariffs. In this way, it can work with the port business community to further increase its market share in the Hamburg-Le Havre range. This signal to the market provides the right impetus for further increasing import and export trade via Rotterdam and means a boost for the Rotterdam and Dutch economy.”

Albert Thissen, president of the Association of Rotterdam Shipbrokers and Agents: “This shows that the Port of Rotterdam Authority is sensitive to the extremely difficult situation very many shipping companies find themselves in, and that it understands what the market needs now.”

2% reduction in tariffs
The Port of Rotterdam Authority consults extensively with market parties every year before the tariffs are set. The starting point for this market consultation is always the level of inflation. As a result, the tariffs in 2013 should increase by 2.3%. This rise in tariffs will be compensated for by a one-off discount in 2013 of 2.3% for all commodities. In addition to this, the one-off discount of 4.3% which applies in 2012 will be continued. On top of this, there will be an extra generic discount of 2%. This all adds up to an 8.6% discount.

The one-off discount of 4.3% that applies in 2012 for all commodities comprises 1.3% compensation for inflation and 3% ‘herstelkorting’ (economic situation discount). For the container sector, all of this 3% discount will be used in 2013, as in 2012, for a discount for deepsea and feeder transhipment containers. For handling a transhipment container, the deepsea shipping company receives € 1 discount per TEU and the feeder shipping company € 1.50 per TEU. This discount provides an important stimulus for the development of Rotterdam as a transit port for container cargo by sea to or from areas in Northwest Europe and the Baltic.

The existing discount scheme for the cleanest ocean-going vessels (ESI discount of an average 5% per ship) will be maintained.

€ 5 million to promote a more sustainable port
In consultation with Deltalinqs and the VRC, the Port of Rotterdam Authority decided to not only reduce tariffs for 2013 but also make € 5 million available, on a one-off basis, for initiatives by the business sector to make the port more sustainable. Both the Port Authority and business sector consider it important for the port to become more sustainable, but are aware that it is difficult to fund projects in the current economic climate. In concrete terms, ideas include initiatives geared towards improving the modal split, improving the air quality, reducing fine dust and/or reducing noise pollution. In order to be eligible for funding from this budget of € 5 million, the projects must benefit at least two market parties and must concern activities which will continue after the one-off contribution. Deltalinqs and the Port of Rotterdam Authority will decide together which initiatives are to receive support. The idea is to spend the € 5 million in the period 2013-2014.

Inland port dues
As far as port dues for inland shipping are concerned, it was agreed that the environmental incentives would be continued. This means that clean ships will also receive discount next year and the most polluting vessels will pay more. Inland vessels which fail to meet the CCR 2 emission requirements pay 10% more. Ships which comply with CCR 2 and have a Green Award certificate receive a 15% discount. Ships which emit at least 60% less fine dust and nitrogen, compared to the CCR 2 level, receive a 30% discount on their port dues. The main purpose of this 30% is to show the sector that it is worthwhile to invest in sustainability.

Market consultation
The Port Authority and Deltalinqs have a covenant concerning how seaport dues are set every year. Through structured market consultation, the sector meets the government’s desire for self-regulation of the tariffs. The tariffs apply for the seaports of Rotterdam, Schiedam, Vlaardingen, Maassluis, Dordrecht and Moerdijk.

Port dues
Port dues are just one of the Port Authority’s sources of income and they are charged to the shipping companies which use Rotterdam. In 2011, the Port Authority received € 291 million in seaport dues and € 15 million in inland port dues. The other main source of income for the Port Authority, at € 267 million, are the revenues from contracts (site rental and long-term leases).

Port of Rotterdam Authority press release