Labor Shortage Causes Rotterdam Bottleneck
At present the main bottleneck causing congestion in Rotterdam is labor shortage. Therefore ECT raised the number of extra personnel with 20 to 120. Some 70 are “in” and the first 20 are trained now. Full deployment will take some time due to educational capacity and lead time. The average influx is approx. 20 per month. Furthermore, a maximum appeal is made on the current workforce to make overtime (including new regulations in order to promote this). Besides expanding the workforce, more infrastructure and equipment is deployed too. This year an additional 150 meters of quay is added as well as 500 meter in 2005. Next week the first of nine extra gantry cranes is installed, with two more to follow this year and two more in Q2 of 2005 and another four later that year. ECT has 37 automated stacking cranes on order and delivery started in an almost constant flow of one per month. Furthermore a corresponding number of automated guided vehicles come into operation.
According to “Nieuwsblad Transport, the national transport paper, APM Terminals Rotterdam recruits 55 new labor and hires extra men from both the Rotterdam labor pool and from Amsterdam. From the latter it also leased extra straddle carriers. They will be replaced later by 12 carriers ordered directly by APM. Three new gantries are ordered as well. APM will extend its operational area with an unspecified number of hectares.