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PORT OF ROTTERDAM: March 14, 2019. Despite votes in the British Parliament this week against a no-deal Brexit, the Port of Rotterdam is anticipating truck congestion as a worse-case scenario at the end of this month. Together with other partners, it has created five new buffer parking sites for trucks to wait if their Customs documents have not been properly prepared for ferry crossings to the UK.

The aim of the coordinated action by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Municipality of Vlaardingen and highways authority Rijkswaterstaat (Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management) is to minimise any extra delay resulting from additional Customs formalities at ferry and shortsea terminals and to ensure freight traffic to the UK runs as smoothly as possible.

Rotterdam truck park facilitiesAdditionally, more intensive passport checks and inspections by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority could mean longer processing times at terminals.

Of the approximately 54 million tonnes of freight that is traded annually between the UK and the Netherlands, around 40 million tonnes passes through the port of Rotterdam, and in particular via ferry and shortsea crossings.

According to the Port of Rotterdam, as soon as Brexit is a fact, the Dutch seaports will form an outer border between the EU and the UK and “this will have major consequences, in particular for the processing of Customs papers and passport control”.

In a Brexit traffic flow simulation by the Port and Rotterdam ferry terminals, they are assuming some 400 trucks operators won’t have their paperwork in order so providing 700 additional trucks spaces at buffer parking sites is expected to be enough.

The buffer parking sites will only be accessible to truckers that have not entered their data into the Port of Rotterdam’s Portbase system and therefore don’t have access to the ferry terminals. The Port says using the facility “means cargo can pass quickly and without unnecessary delay through Customs to and from the UK, even after Brexit”.

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