[ID] => 10140
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2018-09-21 10:05:42
[post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-21 09:05:42
[post_content] => Think of ports in the ARA region and it is natural to think of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, the shining jewels in northern Europe. But glinting among them is Moerdijk in the south of the Netherlands, nestled halfway between Rotterdam and Antwerp. And while its neighbours may enjoy the headlines, their very popularity has generated congestion both at the waterfront and on the road and rail links into the hinterland.
Moerdijk is, therefore, increasingly being seen as an alternative, with its proximity to the petrochemical industry and relatively easy access to the European hinterland obvious advantages when it comes to moving products efficiently. That includes pipelines, which link Moerdijk to the chemical clusters in Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as in Germany.
Moerdijk has also pursued a policy, similar to that in Antwerp, in which chemical and chemical-related companies make use of each others’ products and residual streams, enhancing the sustainability of their operations.
Indeed, the Port Authority of Moerdijk says that development and growth are only possible if they occur in balance with the environment; operators in the port are expected to find ways to reduce their environmental footprint, through collaboration with the Port Authority and cross-linking sustainability goals and initiatives between companies active in the port. Initiatives in this area include wastewater management, use of waste heat and the appointment of ‘front runners’ in sustainability to spread the message.
Ferdinand van den Oever, CEO of the Port Authority of Moerdijk, links the struggle for sustainability squarely with greater efficiency through integration. “One of our challenge’s is to reduce the waste that is still in our logistics chains,” he says. “By waste, I mean for example empty cargo space or inefficient use of modalities – such as using trucks rather than barges or trains where available – but also damage to goods during transport.” That approach underpins the way that the port works with the companies located within its borders, with the port, shippers, logistics providers and other service companies all working together to deliver the most seamless supply chain possible.
YOUTH ON ITS SIDE
Another thing that Moerdijk has going for it is that, as a port, it is extremely young. It dates only back to the 1960s, having been created from excavations for the new Biesbosch storage reservoirs. Local municipalities saw an opportunity to create extra work opportunities for their young people and, this being the Netherlands, building a new port seemed the obvious idea.
What that means is that the port was developed within the existing road, rail and inland waterway infrastructure, unlike its larger neighbours, which have out-grown their original land and are having to fit in with transport links as best they can. Moerdijk is four hours’ sailing from the open sea and located directly on a crossing of several rivers, which links straight into the Rhine and Meuse waterways. It is also at the crossroads of the main Rotterdam-Antwerp highway and east-west routes, giving it direct access to the Ruhr area of Germany.
Being so far inland also means there is little tidal variation so there are few arrival and departure restrictions. Moerdijk does a lot of business handling containers and other cargoes that have been transhipped in one of the larger ports, bringing them in for storage or for onward distribution on the waterway system.
The Port of Moerdijk Authority stands ready to help operators develop new or expand existing facilities; there is still space available and any necessary infrastructure projects will receive support from the Authority.
The advantages offered by Moerdijk’s location and facilities have been recognised for some time; the town even has a street dedicated to the industry – Chemieweg. This is the location of Shell’s major chemical complex where, fitting in with the port’s aims for sustainability, it has recently started work on a massive solar power facility, which will be capable of generating 27 MW once it opens early next year. Solvay Solutions Nederland, KLK Kolb, Lyondell Basell Benelux, Hexion and Arkema subsidiary Coatex are among other chemical manufacturers to have set up shop in the port’s dedicated area.
Manon Baartmans, commercial manager of the Port Authorities of Moerdijk characterises Moerdijk as a ‘one-stop-shop’, an approach taken up by many of the logistics service providers in the port. For example, Stolthaven Moerdijk offers 45 bulk storage tanks for chemicals in both mild and stainless steel, with a total tank capacity of some 48,350 m³, and is also home to Stolt Container Terminal Moerdijk, the main ARA tank depot for sister firm Stolt Tank Containers.
It has a 7,500-m² warehouse for hazardous goods, two filling lines for drums and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), 23 tank container heating positions, storage for up to 1,100 loaded or empty tank containers, a cleaning station for road tankers, tank containers and IBCs and a full-service repair workshop. Stolthaven says the facility is “strategically located in a lock-free port between Antwerp and Rotterdam”. Furthermore, its efficient rail links and congestion-free highway access “provides a versatile one-stop shopping logistical solution”. All operations are certified according to ISO 9001; the bulk liquids terminal has a current CDI-T assessment; and the tank container terminal is assessed according to SQAS.
TAKE A TRIP
Stolthaven Moerdijk is just one of several facilities located along Middenweg that sport names familiar to any HCB reader and which provide a range of services to chemical manufacturers, not the least of which are logistics services.
Turning into Middenweg from the southern ring road, the visitor immediately finds NewPort Tank Containers’ European headquarters, next door to Burg Service, offering tank cleaning, maintenance and repair services. As part of CIMC Enric, Burg’s Moerdijk station also acts as the arrival point in Europe for new tank containers from China, which are initially delivered into Rotterdam and moved the short distance to Moerdijk so they can be readied for customers.
A little further along Middenweg is Frans de Wit International terminal, which has space for the storage of up to 2,500 loaded or empty tank containers as well as bonded storage. Frans de Wit International offers a wide range of services at the site, including the transfer of chemicals and gasses between tanks, blending of chemicals, tank container repair and maintenance, and the onward movement of tanks by its own road fleet.
Nearby there are also services for those shipping in freight containers: Moerdijk Container Terminals, GCA Netherlands, Kuehne + Nagel Logistics, Van der Helm and Koolwijk Logistics among them. The most important of these is undoubtedly CCT, hub of Moerdijk’s shortsea shipping activities and a significant contributor to the success of the port operations. It is part of the West-Brabant corridor, a partnership launched in February 2018 to allow the bundling of containerised cargo between terminals in Moerdijk, Tilburg, Oosterhout and Rotterdam for eventual loading onto deepsea ships at one terminal in Rotterdam, which is already leading to greater efficiency in cargo handling and customs clearance.
A similar project is currently being discussed with the Port of Antwerp, with Moerdijk already having been granted a special arrangement.
SPACE TO BREATHE
Another indicator of support for what Moerdijk is doing for the chemical industry has come from logistics service provider Gondrand, which opened a warehouse in the port in the year 2001. Having experienced substantial growth in demand, the company had a decision to make: move, expand or renew? Its decision was to create a new warehouse location, 5 km from its existing position, due to open this year.
Gondrand specialises in the transport and warehousing of packaged chemicals and, Business Unit Logistics Manager Tom Heesakkers, explains, “The rules in the Netherlands are very strict in this respect, and are constantly being tightened even further. We could have opted to upgrade our existing 16-year-old site in Moerdijk, but in the end it proved more effective and future-proof to build a completely new site.”
There were a number of other considerations. “To begin with, the new site will comply with the latest PGS15 guidelines for the storage of packaged hazardous and CMR substances in the area of fire safety, as well as occupational and environmental safety,” Heesakkers says. “The 17,500-m² site, with 30,000 pallet locations, will immediately give us sufficient capacity to safely and efficiently facilitate our existing and future customers’ growth.”
Did Gondrand consider moving away from Moerdijk? Not really, says Heesakkers: “We looked at other spots in West-Brabant, but Moerdijk has it all: good access via road, barge and rail in combination with a central location. It was also a deliberate decision not to change our employees’ commute too much.”
Employees were also involved in the construction of the new building, says Heesakkers. “We carried out risk analyses with them. Because safety is ultimately not about people doing things because that’s what they’re told to do. It’s about wanting to work safely. The combination of an enormously safe site, and a high level of safety awareness, will ensure we continue to set the safety standard in the decades to come.”
HANDLING AND MOVING
Brenntag also has a warehouse for dangerous goods in Moerdijk, one of a number of locations operated by Brenntag Netherlands, itself headquartered in Dordrecht, that serve more than 6,000 customers within the country. Brenntag offers storage, packing, treatment and sale of industry base chemicals, speciality chemicals, additives and ingredients to various industrial sectors, including life sciences, environmental and material science customers.
For shippers of dry bulk materials, Steinweg Delta Marine Terminal, halfway along Middenweg, is a multipurpose terminal with a surface area of 120,000 m² and a 300-metre quay. Part of the C Steinweg Group, the terminal agrees with other logistics providers in Moerdijk that the location offers excellent hinterland connections by water, road and rail.
A trip to the end of Middenweg reveals the waterside and the new TechnoPort tank container depot and cleaning facility, an affiliate of NewPort Tank Containers, which opened last year.
Along the way, the visitor also passes the Netherlands base of the German road tanker and tank container operator Rinnen, while Switzerland-headquartered Bertschi has one of its four Dutch depots at the port.
PACK IT IN
Another element in the movement of chemicals is the availability of industrial packaging. Schütz, one of the world’s three major suppliers of packaging to the chemical industry, chose Moerdijk for its Benelux base, not least because it offers an ideal location for the delivery of packagings to consumers in Antwerp and Rotterdam, as well as the local industry around Moerdijk.
“With a surface area of more than 60,000 m² and using the most advanced technology throughout the entire production and assembly process, as well as state-of-the-art service facilities, the Moerdijk plant sets new standards of quality and efficiency,” says Schütz Benelux.
Schütz Benelux, which opened in 2007, is one of the company’s largest and most modern production sites in the world, supplying the Benelux markets with plastics and steel drums and intermediate bulk containers (IBCs); it is also part of the global collection and reconditioning network, the Schütz Ticket Service.
“Since we started producing IBCs here in 2007, our Dutch site has been continuously growing through the addition of new products and services, investment in new production technologies and the expansion of warehouse and logistics capacities,” the company states. In 2008, steel drum production began, with capacity significantly expanded in 2011 alongside a new line for coating the insides of drums.
At the end of 2017, Schütz began production of 220-litre F1 plastics drums at Moerdijk. “The outlook is good,” the company says, “with all signs pointing to continued growth. An expansion of the internal plant infrastructure is already being planned.”
When a service company of the stature of Schütz says that demand growth is rising, it should be apparent that the port of Moerdijk is meeting a need; efficiency in the supply chain will be critical to the continued competitivity of the European chemical industry and that is just what shippers find in Moerdijk.
[post_title] => Moerdijk: The fourth estate
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => moerdijk-fourth-estate
[post_modified] => 2018-09-20 12:15:00
[post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-20 11:15:00
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10140
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