More Independence Planned For Rotterdam Port Management

Friday, October 22, 1999
The Rotterdam city council recently accepted proposals that will make it possible for the Rotterdam Municipal Port Management to operate on a more independent basis. "NV Mainport Holding Rotterdam" (NV MHR) will be formed, incorporating both existing and new participations as well as joint ventures. The Port Management's responsibility and authority in the field of land issue, tariffs and investment policy will be increased. The net contribution to the municipal authority will be fixed at 66 million guilders per annum for the period 2000-2003. The Port Management will in future be assessed more on the basis of "Port Performance Indicators." The Rotterdam city council will principally concentrate on main policy lines on the basis of a strategic agenda for the main port. These proposals are an important step in the direction of a more independent, efficient and flexible Port Management in an increasingly international environment. They offer the Port Management additional possibilities of operating faster, more effectively and more commercially. The N.V. Mainport Holding Rotterdam (NV MHR) will be incorporated in the Port Management in order to ensure that the Port Management can expand its activities and also expand in a geographical sense. The holding will have an executive board controlled by the Port Management general directorate. Existing participations such as the joint venture with Vlissingen (Flushing) in ESM and the CSKD-Intrans rail terminals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be placed under this holding. This also applies to future public-private joint ventures (PPS constructions), the interest that the Port Management will have in ECT, and other future participations. This form will additionally provide more possibilities for expansion of consultancy activities (currently by the TEMPO section of the Port Management). The exact form, construction and tasks of the NV MHR will be worked out in further detail during the coming months. The Port Management will have increased responsibility and authority. This will permit it to operate more efficiently, allowing the city council to focus its attention on strategic policy instead of its implementation and day-to-day operations. Without the need to submit proposals to the City Hall, land may be issued up to 25 ha (now 5 ha) and there will be more commercial freedom concerning revenue from port dues. Investments up to NLG 50 million do not need to pass through a separate administrative procedure if they are incorporated in the Port Management's annual plan. The Port Management does, however, remain accountable to the Rotterdam city council at all times. This also applies to the activities of the N.V. Mainport Holding Rotterdam: accountability for this will be along the same lines as accountability for the activities of the Port Management itself. Performance Indicators will be introduced in order to give the city council greater insight into the activities of the Port Management, consequently enabling it to draw up policy. A definitive PPI list still needs to be formulated. At the present time possibilities include: growth in employment at Distriparks, growth in container throughput, growth in the added value of the industrial complex, maintenance of Turnaround Times for ships when traffic intensity is increased, a clean port and maintenance of the existing accessibility of the harbor basins.

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