The number of sea-going ships arriving in the port of Rotterdam decreased further in 2012. Increased scale, crisis and fewer ferry service departures reduced the number of arrivals by 2,347 to 32,057 ship visits. In 2008, 36,415 sea-going ships still arrived. Despite the decline, throughput in 2012 increased by 1.7 per cent to 442 million tonnes. This emerged from the presentation of the nautical figures given by Harbour Master René de Vries of the Port of Rotterdam Authority.
According to the harbour master, 2012 was an extremely safe year. Not only were there fewer ships, there were also fewer nautical accidents. The Port Authority supervised 80,000 sea-going vessel movements and a multiple of that figure in inland shipping movements and counted a total of 111 nautical accidents. In 2011 there were 132 accidents.
The most striking incidents were inland shipping vessels which collided with the Willemsbrug bridge and the inner door of the Rozenburg lock. René de Vries hammered away at the fact that he wants to maintain the vessel traffic service at the same high level, even though the safety figures are good and there are fewer ships. He anticipates considerably more ships in the near future as a result of the opening of Maasvlakte 2 and is preparing the port with the ‘Schip centraal’ [Ship is key] project for a broadly coordinated traffic schedule.
The Port Authority put a great deal of energy last year into preserving and monitoring the high level of safety. Not only through 11,214 targeted inspections, but also, for instance, through the development of a new safety index, the Nautical Safety Index. The Port Authority also took an important step this year in renewing the Rotterdam Port Management By-laws with an eye to the coming of LNG as fuel for shipping.