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Pilot: extension of mooring duration IJhaven

News item
06-05-2021

From now on, inland navigation vessels will be able to extend their mooring duration in the IJhaven even without special circumstances. The extra mooring time will be 3 weeks on top of the standard 7 days, 4 weeks in total.

Request from inland shipping sector

The pilot project was initiated at the request of the inland shipping sector. Arjan de Kremer, advisor at Port of Amsterdam: "It was always possible to stay longer than 7 days in special cases, such as illness or family circumstances. But it turned out that inland navigation also likes to moor for longer in other cases. For example, during a holiday period or when an inland vessel does not need to proceed immediately to the next destination. This arrangement makes that possible.

Evaluation after one year

The IJhaven is a suitable place for this trial. "In the IJhaven it is quieter, because there are fewer waiting vessels and because these quays are at a greater distance from the terminals," explains Arjan. Initially, the pilot will last one year, until January 2022. "Early next year, we will evaluate the longer mooring duration with both the inland shipping industry and local residents. If they both experience it positively, the scheme may become structural."

Conditions for berth permit

There are, however, a number of conditions for the extension of the berth duration. For example, you must have an actively sailing barge that is registered with the Chamber of Commerce. Furthermore, the regulation is intended for cargo ships, not for passenger ships. To make use of the longer berthing period, you must apply for a berthing permit. This can be done very easily via the QR code on a board on the quay. If you fulfil all the conditions and complete the application form, the permit will be sent to you automatically.

5 improved facilities in the port

News item
07-05-2021

Recently, Port of Amsterdam has improved or added five facilities in the port. They are a second drinking water tap, extra bollards for smaller ships and extra bollards. In addition, regular inland navigation vessels are now allowed to moor at the push barge spots in the Suezhaven.

Second drinking water tap point in Afrikahaven

From now on, there will be a second drinking water tap point at the car landing in Afrikahaven. You can use the tap via your account in the app Park-line Aqua, which also uses shore power. The first 6 cubic metres of water are free. Arjan de Kremer, advisor at Port of Amsterdam: "At the moment the new drinking water tap point still has a few teething problems. We are working to remedy these as soon as possible. We also want to build a third tap point in another part of the port. We are currently taking stock of the possibilities. That way, all inland navigation vessels in the port will soon have quick and easy access to drinking water."

Extra poles Zanzibarhaven and Haparandadam

Extra bollards have been placed at the holding area in Zanzibarhaven. As a result, shorter vessels, such as sprues, can moor here from now on. This was a frequently expressed wish of skippers. Previously, this was not possible because the poles were too far apart. For the same reason, an additional pole has been placed on the west side of the car landing at the Haparandacam. This means that smaller ships heading for IJmuiden no longer need to turn around to moor properly. Previously, there was only an extra bollard on the east side.

Extra bollards Afrikahaven

From now on, there will be extra bollards at the waiting places in Afrikahaven. These have been placed at the request of the inland shipping sector. The bollards are on the outside of the rear posts. As a result, large ships, such as 135-metre tankers, can moor better and the berths are safer.

Regular inland navigation vessels at push barge spots in Suezhaven

Regular inland navigation vessels can now moor at the barge berths in the Suezhaven. This was a wish of our inland shipping clients. However, the ships have to use spud poles. Arjan de Kremer: "In the Westhaven there is regularly a lack of waiting places for inland navigation. With this modification we are using the berths more efficiently."

Port of Amsterdam installs new smart shore power cabinets

News item
07-05-2021

In the coming months Port of Amsterdam will replace all existing shore power units with smart, green shore power. This will happen to all cabinets in the port area within the ring (A10) of Amsterdam.

Binnenvaartschipper sluit walstroom aan
Inland skipper connects shore power. This unit in the Minervahaven will also soon be replaced with green shore power

Operation via an app

The new shore power cabinets are a lot smarter and easier to use than their predecessors. For example, you can operate them using a Park-line app, in which you indicate how much power you need. After entering a code, you plug in the box and have access to shore power. The app measures consumption very accurately, so that afterwards you always pay for the exact amount of power used. Payment is also made via the app.

Solve malfunctions faster

Engineers can also repair any faults faster. The smart boxes detect problems immediately. For instance, they register whether there is a secure connection and what the power consumption is. If there is a problem, the boxes signal the engineers. They can then immediately see which shore power box is causing the problem. The cabinets can also be controlled remotely, for example by resetting the earth leakage switch. This means that the engineers no longer have to be at the site every time there is a malfunction, which saves a lot of time and annoyance.

Less CO2 emissions

However, these were not the main reasons for choosing the new shore-based power, says Steve Faerber, head of Asset Management and Projects. "The ambition of Port of Amsterdam is to encourage and facilitate clean shipping in order to create a sustainable port. The new shore power cabinets fit perfectly into this strategy. They reduce CO2 emissions because ships no longer need to use generators. The cabinets also produce green electricity. In addition, they reduce the noise and odour nuisance for local residents.

Shore power everywhere by the end of 2021

But it will be a while before the new shore-based power units are available everywhere. Steve: "The contractor is currently building the first units. We will test the first cabinet in two months' time. If this test goes well, we will install the cabinet on site and carry out a second test. If this test also goes well, we will roll out the cabinets throughout the port. The plan is for the new shore power cabinets to be installed everywhere within the ring road by the end of this year."

Container barges have wind in their sails

Last week TMA Logistics did a test on container barge Ms Royaal with eConowind. This is a container with collapsible sails that can be sailed partly on wind.

The container takes up little space and can therefore easily be placed on board (inland) vessels.

10% fuel savings with eConowind

On the IJsselmeer and the Wadden Sea, between Harlingen and Amsterdam, it almost always blows. This made that location ideal for testing the eConowind. Folding the system only takes five minutes. The test yielded a fuel saving of 10%. Enough reason to test this further.

Inland shipping connections with the port of Amsterdam

Logistics service provider TMA Logistics connects terminals in Harlingen, Hasselt, IJmuiden, Velsen and Amsterdam with the deep sea terminals in Rotterdam and Antwerp. TMA has fixed agreements with the deep sea terminals and bundles large volumes. With these inland shipping connections, fixed and reliable sailing schedules have been created for their customers.

Further greening

By using inland navigation, unnecessary waiting times with trucks are avoided. It also reduces traffic jams and CO2 emissions. TMA logistics wants to make their ships even greener. For example, by making more use of the wind, such as the eCono wind. TMA has also been using the MS Phoenix since 2018. This is a fully hybrid ship.

Amsterdam port facilitates degassing tests for barges

News item
03-11-2020

Tests with vapour processing installations were carried out in the port of Amsterdam. The aim of the newly developed installations is to process vapours from inland tankers in a safe and controlled way so that they no longer end up in the air. This is an important step towards clean shipping.

Testing by two parties

Two providers, Triple D and 24/7 Nature Power, tested their vapour processing installations at the ‘Groene Kade’ (‘Green Quay') in the port of Amsterdam. Both parties are working with a mobile vapour processing installation. Port of Amsterdam has been working for many years to enable safe degassing in the port. It is making the public 'Green Quay' available for the tests, as part of its efforts to create a sustainable port. This test is an important next step.

Permit possible in the event of success

During testing, the functioning of the installation was measured; how much is emitted of benzene and and residual vapours containing benzene. This determines whether the installation in question meets the set requirements. If the tests are successful, suppliers can apply for a permit from the North Sea Canal Area Environment Service.

Independent measurements

The North Sea Canal Area Environment Agency has commissioned an independent agency to conduct the test measurements that can be used to establish whether the installations meet the requirements or require further improvement.

National Taskforce on Degassing During Passage

The results of the trials are being evaluated in the ‘Taskforce on Degassing During Passage.’ Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, set up this taskforce in 2018 to ensure the smooth introduction of the national prohibition. The taskforce includes representatives of the central government, provincial authorities, ports, shipping companies, carriers, warehousing companies and vapour recovery providers. In introducing the national prohibition, it is important that an infrastructure is put in place that features installations that are able to process or recycle the residual cargo vapours.

First degassing tests for barges underway in Port of Amsterdam

A trial involving innovative vapour recovery systems was launched in the port of Amsterdam today. The aim is to enable barges to recover vapours safely and in a controlled manner to prevent them from being released into the air. This marks a significant step towards clean shipping.

Ontgassingstest
Early this morning during preparations for the trial at the Groene Kade in the port of Amsterdam (photographer: Ko van Leeuwen)

Testing by two companies

The North Sea Canal Area Environment Agency has given two providers, Triple D and 24/7 Nature Power, the green light to test their vapour recovery systems at the ‘Groene Kade’ (‘Green Quay’) in the port of Amsterdam in the week of 21 September. Both companies use a vapour recovery plant based on the mobile condensation principle (24/7 Nature Power) and for the combustion of the vapours (Triple D).

Port of Amsterdam has been working for many years on creating the conditions for safe degassing in the port. It is providing access to the public ‘Groene Kade’ for the tests as part of its efforts to make the port sustainable.

The Environment Agency, too, has been working on preventing illegal degassing for some time. Sensory systems known as ‘eNoses’ are being used as watchdogs to prevent illegal degassing, for example. This test represents an important next step.

Permit if successful

The tests involve establishing how the equipment is performing in terms of reducing the emissions of benzene and residual vapours containing benzene.

This determines whether the plant in question is meeting the set requirements. If the trials are successful, the providers will be able to apply to the North Sea Canal Area Environment Agency for a permit.

Independent measurements

The North Sea Canal Area Environment Agency has commissioned an independent agency to conduct the test measurements that can be used to establish whether the plants meet the strictest requirements or require further improvement.  

Prohibition on degassing during passage

Air quality is adversely affected by vessels degassing during passage in the inland navigation routes. This affects the health of local residents and the people working with these substances. On 1 March 2017 the Province of Noord-Holland banned the practice of degassing benzene and substances containing benzene as a measure to improve the environment and clean up inland navigation.

The industry has already succeeded in achieving a significant reduction in emissions in recent years, but this has not yet led to degassing being entirely ruled out. For that reason, the prohibitions are being extended in phases during 2020 into a national ban that will reduce the emission of these harmful substances by 98%.

National Taskforce on Degassing During Passage 

The results of the trials are being evaluated in the ‘Taskforce on Degassing During Passage.’ Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, set up this taskforce in 2018 to ensure the smooth introduction of the national ban.

The taskforce includes representatives of the central government, provincial authorities, ports, shipping companies, carriers, warehousing companies and vapour recovery providers.

In introducing the national ban, it is important that an infrastructure is put in place that features plants that are able to process or recycle the residual cargo vapours.

Mooring facility for push barges with trackers

News item
02-09-2020

Port of Amsterdam is continuously improving its facilities and services. From 1 September 2020, barges with trackers will have the privilege of berthing in specially designated mooring areas.

The mooring facility for push barges at 'het Slik' can only be used for push-barges with trackers. 'Het Slik' is located in the eastern part of the IJ, between the KNSM island and Albemarle. From 1 September, 'het Slik' is only intended for push barges with trackers connected to Poseidon for which the operator has a data-contract concluded with Port of Amsterdam (PoA).

Push barges without trackers can still moor at the other mooring locations for push barges in Amsterdam and Zaanstad. These push barge locations remain accessible to all push barges, with or without a tracker, until further notice.

Insight

With this new regulation Port of Amsterdam aims to stimulate push barge operators to provide push barges with trackers and to connect them to Poseidon. The more push barges are connected, the better we can facilitate push barge operators in finding free spaces.

Another advantage for push barges with trackers is that these push barges are eligible to be fully automatically registered for the Port due process, which will be settled on the basis of the actual visiting time.

More information about Poseidon and the current occupancy rate of push-barges can be found on our website.

General terms and conditions

The General terms and conditions for berthing and push barges have came into force on 1 September. As of 1 September, Port of Amsterdam will monitor whether parties are complying with the new regulation with a transition period of one month.

Transhipment in North Sea Canal ports down by more than 10 percent due to coronavirus crisis

Transhipment in the seaports in the North Sea Canal region - Amsterdam, IJmuiden, Beverwijk and Zaanstad - fell by 10.7% to 48.7 million tonnes (2019: 54.6 million) in the first six months of this year. The impact of the global corona virus crisis on the transhipment figures is clear.

Transhipment also fell in the port of Amsterdam during the first six months of 2020. The volume declined from 45.2 million tonnes in the first half of 2019 to 39.8 million tonnes this year (-12%). This drop was also clearly a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Vital infrastructure

Koen Overtoom, CEO of Port of Amsterdam, says: "For the first time in years we have seen a reduction in the transhipment in our port. And it is a significant one. However, we are not pessimistic."

"In the first half of the year, we have shown in difficult conditions how crucial the port is for the region and for the country. As vital infrastructure, we have continued to manage shipping traffic and to handle cargo flows, without letup. We have thereby contributed to keeping the country and the economy running."

"Our distribution clients in particular have had a strong six months, with the distribution of foodstuffs and packages. The market for transport fuels (petrol, kerosene etc.) is now recovering."

"It is hard to say what the second half of the year will look like. The fuels market is too fickle for that, and the impact of the coronavirus is uncertain. We do anticipate that in the current conditions the shortfall in volume for the year as a whole, will remain limited to the level that we have seen in the first six months," says Overtoom.

Increases and decreases

The decline in Amsterdam in the first six months was attributable to both liquid and dry bulk and containers. The transhipment of liquid bulk (mainly transport fuels) fell by 5.1% to 24.7 million tonnes, compared to 26 million tonnes over the same period last year.

Despite decreased aviation and road traffic, the volumes of transport fuels remained relatively constant. This is due to the fluctuating market for these cargo flows, which results in constant movement.

The volume of dry bulk fell by 21.2%. This was in particular due to a substantial decline in coal to 4.6 million tonnes, compared to 8.2 million tonnes last year (-43.6%). The unexpected, non-structural growth last year amplified the decline in coal volume this year. The transhipment of grains also fell (-15.4%), and there was a reduction in break bulk (-18.2%).

Sea and river cruise also ceased as a result of the corona virus pandemic. Port of Amsterdam decided, in consultation with the Amsterdam Amstelland Safety Region, to suspend cruise ships from the port from mid-March onwards, in order to minimise the risk of infection.

The port has been open to cruise ships again since mid-June, and the number of visits from river cruise ships is increasing slowly and cautiously. There were 21 visits in the first half of the year, of which 18 in January and February. The port of Amsterdam expects to welcome more river cruise ships in the second half of the year. On the other hand, at this moment the port does not anticipate sea cruise vessels returning in the second half of the year either.

Container transhipment fell by 31.6%.This cargo flow had grown steadily in recent years, partly as a result of the focus of the port of Amsterdam on short-sea lines. The decline can therefore also be attributed to the coronavirus, which resulted in scheduled services being partly suspended.

Varied picture across the region

Transshipment in IJmuiden fell slightly, by only 3.4% to 8.76 million tonnes. In Beverwijk the transshipment volume fell by 44.3% to 194,000 tonnes, and Zaanstad saw a 15.3% increase in transshipment to 84,000 tonnes.

Questions? Now over to Eef

‘Hi! I’m chatbot Eef, and I look forward to answering questions about your inland navigation visit.’ These are the opening words of Eef, our brand new chatbot, that will be inviting boatmasters to ask questions about their visit to Amsterdam.

Eef will be coming online this month. At the moment she only speaks Dutch. ‘We hope that this chatbot will make it far easier for inland navigation boatmasters to obtain information.’

From berths to waste disposal

Where can I dispose of my waste? What about the harbour dues I have to pay? Where can I find a berth? Not all boatmasters regularly come to Amsterdam.

'They have a lot of questions,' says Stefanie Meltzer, Manager of Customer Experience & Digital at the Port of Amsterdam. Last year, together with her colleague Pascale van Ommeren and various teams, Melzer conducted research into the boatmasters’ customer journey. ‘Time and again, we noticed and were told that they found our information very fragmented.’

Chatbot Eef helps everyone

Our chatbot Eef will benefit more than the boatmasters alone. ‘It will also help our colleagues,’ explains Stefanie. ‘For example, the people who constantly take phone calls for all manner of questions. The port service is also hoping that the marine radiotelephone will be quieter. These days staff often find themselves having to answer practical questions that should be asked elsewhere. Once chatbot Eef is well-established, this will improve overall efficiency.'

Unique in the port community

According to Stefanie, Eef’s success will depend on a range of issues. ‘First of all, we will need to carefully look into whether the chatbot gives satisfactory answers to the boatmasters’ most important questions. At present, Eef knows a lot about harbour dues, reports, berths, facilities, registration and contact. But we also have to bear in mind that a chatbot is an entirely new application for the boatmasters. It is still unique in the port community, and we’re dealing with a target group that isn’t used to being assisted in this way.'

Getting better and better

And yet, people are already growing accustomed to the chatbot. It’s already been used a few times a day after being online for just under a month. For now, Eef is still a closed chat function. ‘This means that a visitor to our site can scroll through a menu to find her answers,’ says Stefanie. ‘In the future, we’ll see whether that proves sufficient or if we want to switch to an open chat session. Perhaps even a “real” colleague behind the scenes in case Eef doesn’t know the answer. In the coming period, we’ll continue to make improvements to the chatbot. Then we’ll think about how to move forward.’

A tough name for a tough target group

So why is Eef called Eef? ‘We cycled to the harbour with our laptops and asked the boatmasters what they thought about the chatbot', recounts Stefanie. They expressed a preference for a female chatbot. After a brief brainstorming session, we thought Eef seemed like a suitable name. A bit tough, but not too girlish because she does have to assist a tough target group, after all.'

Promote Eef

Curious? Meet Eef on our inland navigation page. We need user data to find out whether Eef adds value to our website. The more users, the better. So, it would be great if you could promote Eef in your network! And if you have any feedback for us or receive any responses in your network, please let us know by sending an email to pto@portofamsterdam.com.

Port of Amsterdam sees a record transhipment in 2019

Port of Amsterdam set a new transhipment record in 2019 with transhipment totalling 86.9 million tonnes, compared to 82.3 million tonnes in 2018. This represents a 6% increase. The total transhipment of all ports in the area reached 105 million tonnes, compared to 101,8 million tonnes in 2018.

Transhipment in IJmuiden fell by 7.9% to 17.2 million tonnes, while Beverwijk and Zaanstad saw transhipment stabilise at 0.7 million tonnes and 0.2 million tonnes, respectively. This is revealed in the provisional transhipment figures announced today.

Large increases

The record set in the port of Amsterdam in the previous year is primarily attributable to an 18% increase in the transhipment of energy products, such as coal, to 15.5 million tonnes, compared to 13.1 million tonnes in 2018. The increase in coal transhipment can be attributed to market conditions, which led to strong growth in exports to non-traditional markets such as Asia and the Black Sea region. This growth is not expected to be structural. The closure of the Amsterdam-based Hemweg power plant 8 in December resulted in the cancellation of a large coal transaction. The transhipment of oil products also rose in 2019 to 50 million tonnes, compared to 47.4 million in 2018. This increase was caused by favourable conditions in the petrol market.

Other dry bulk also increased by 6% - a substantial growth - to 33.6 million tonnes, compared to 31.6 million tonnes in 2018. Container transhipment also increased by 12% and transhipment in Ro-Ro rose by 17%. Transhipment of chemical products and construction materials rose by 3.4% and 2.4%, respectively.

Large decreases

These records were also offset by decreases. The agri cargo flow fell in the previous year by 5% to 7.9 million tonnes and general cargo fell by 35% compared to 2018.

Cruise calls

Amsterdam received 117 seagoing cruise ships in 2019, compared to the previous year’s 180. The main reason for this decrease is due to the introduction of the tourist tax, which entered into force on 1 January 2018. The number of seagoing cruise ships that will be visiting Amsterdam in 2020 is expected to remain the same as last year; 12 of the cruise ships will be coming to the city for the first time. The number of sea cruise passengers fell to 294,000 compared to 425,000 in the year prior. The number of seagoing cruise ships visiting IJmuiden increased to 62 from the previous year’s 30. The number of river cruise ships that called in 2019 was 2,282, compared to 2,007 a year earlier.

Imports and exports

Imports in the port of Amsterdam increased by 5.7% in the previous year to 53.2 million tonnes. Exports grew by 5.5% to 33.6 million tonnes.

Leased-out land

A total of 20 hectares of land was leased out in 2019, compared to 43 hectares in 2018. Large parcels of land were leased out to Granuband and the 5.7-hectare distribution centre at the Conakryweg. Port of Amsterdam also purchased a 6-hectare lot in HoogTij in 2019, after having purchased 10 hectares in 2016.