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The new sea lock (‘Zeesluis IJmuiden’) - what will happen in March and April 2021?

The contours of Zeesluis IJmuiden are now clearly visible and this means that the final phase of construction has now begun. In the coming months, OpenIJ will continue with the construction of the Loswal (quay) on the Zuidersluiseiland (number 1 in the picture);

The public road across the locks will open for pedestrians, cyclists and mopeds (number 2 in the picture); flood defence north will be tarmacked (number 3 in the picture); the future dyke of flood defence south will be raised to the correct height (number 4 in the picture); protection material will be applied to the bottom of the Nieuwe Zeesluis at the inner and the outer heads (number 5 in the picture); and there will be a lock gate replacement at the outer head of the Noordersluis (North Lock).

Construction of the Loswal (quay) on the Zuidersluiseiland

In the period from September 2020 to June 2021, OpenIJ will be building a new quay on the Zuidersluiseiland, next to the storehouse of the Heida company (number 1 in the picture). The new quay - also to be used as a car landing place for inland ships - will extend the facilities at the Zuidersluiseiland. In the period March and April 2021, work is being carried out to the earth-retaining structure and the embankment protection.

Opening of the public road across the locks

The public road across the IJmuiden lock complex will open on 29 March 2021. The road (number 2 in the picture) will only be open for mopeds, cyclists and pedestrians. The road will remain closed for car traffic until further notice. Cars cannot yet use the public road because there are still a number of construction and maintenance works ongoing at the lock complex. Until the end of 2021, mopeds, cyclists and pedestrians using the public road should therefore take into account extra delays that may occur due to (maintenance) works to the bridges of the Middle Lock (Middensluis) and the use of temporary pumps at the Small Lock (Kleine Sluis). The public road runs across the outer gate of the new sea lock. Testing operations of the outer gate of the new sea lock will be carried out on working days between 19.00 and 24.00 LT. During these periods, the public road will be closed for road for traffic.

Flood defence north

In March, the Middensluisweg near the flood defence north (number 3 in the picture) will be tarmacked. The Middensluisweg is part of the public road across the locks that will be open to mopeds, bicycles and pedestrians as from 29 March 2021. The Middensluisweg will be open to car traffic at a later stage.

Flood defence south

Flood defence south (number 4 in the picture) is where the OpenIJ concrete mixing plant previously stood. The concrete mixing plant has produced more than 300,000 m3 of concrete for the construction of the sea lock. In the coming weeks, the future dyke at this location will be raised to the required height after which OpenIJ will start the construction of the road on top of the dyke.

Protection material to the bottom of the lock at the inner head

On 15, 16 and 17 March (during the closures of the North Lock due to planned maintenance by technical service provider SPIE), OpenIJ will start with the application of protection material to the bottom of the Nieuwe Zeesluis at the inner head. Once the closures of the North Lock have ended, various works will take place in and near the inner and outer approach channels to the North Lock. Shipping traffic will be taken into account during these works. In week numbers 12-14 (22 March to 8 April 2021), OpenIJ will complete the application of protection material at the inner head of the Nieuwe Zeesluis.

Protection material to the bottom of the lock at the outer head and lock gate replacement

During the period from 12 to 14 April 2021, OpenIJ will start the application of protection material to the bottom of the Nieuwe Zeesluis at the outer head (number 5 in the picture). During the closures of the North Lock from 19 to 22 April 2021, OpenIJ will apply protection material to the bottom of the Nieuwe Zeesluis at the outer head. There will be a lock gate replacement of the North Lock on 21 April 2021. The closures of the North Lock have been mentioned in Announcement to Shipping No. 08/2021. In week numbers 17-21 (end of April to end of May 2021), the remaining protection material will be applied at the outer head of the Nieuwe Zeesluis. For this, no further lock closures of the North Lock will be necessary.


Appointment of Head Cargo & Offshore

Alma Prins was appointed head of the new Cargo & Offshore cluster as of 1 November. This job opening arose after the departure of Femke Brenninkmeijer and the subsequent new cluster classification.

This new cluster classification means that Energy (especially the petrol and coal terminals) and Construction Materials, Metal Recycling and Industrial Minerals will be added to the existing cluster of Roon van Maanen, Circular & Renewable Industry.

This is in response to market developments such as diversification of cargo streams at coal terminals and collaboration between petrol terminals and production of renewable fuels. The cluster will henceforth be known as: Energy & Circular Industry.

Alma started working as a contract manager at Port of Amsterdam in 2009 after graduating in Business Administration at the University of Amsterdam and trying her hand in various real estate brokerage jobs. After this she was promoted to Account Manager Real Estate, and then ultimately worked as Commercial Manager in the cruise ship business in 2013.

For the past 3 years Alma has worked on developing the superyacht construction cluster for the Port of Amsterdam and launching it on the market. She has also worked and sailed for the Royal Netherlands Navy and has been a board member of the Port of Amsterdam Club (Amsterdamse Havenclub) for 5 years.

Alma is looking forward to taking this major step and working together with the team, commerce, the entire company and stakeholders to ensure that we can make our clients, cargos and activities grow more sustainably.


Alma’s duties with regard to sea cruises will be assumed by Monic van der Heyden. Acquisition of the account and commercial management of superyacht construction will be decided later.

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.

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.

2018: increase in ship calls while number of serious accidents remains virtually unchanged

The port of Amsterdam welcomed a total of 41,424 barges and 7,525 sea-going vessels in 2018, including 180 sea cruise ships. The numbers for 2017 were 40,012 and 7,011, respectively.

The number of recreational vessels passing through the IJmuiden sea locks was also up from 2017: from 9,207 to 10,179 last year. While the number of shipping accidents increased from 32 in 2017 to 49 in 2018, the number of serious shipping accidents remained virtually level from 2017. One fatal accident unfortunately occurred in the port in 2018.

Although the port saw an increase in shipping activity levels in 2018, Harbour Master Marleen van de Kerkhof believes there is no causal relationship between this increased activity and the number of incidents. "This is explained in the notes to these statistics. A large number of the accidents that occurred involved minor incidents such as vessels generating high waves that inconvenienced other waterway users. We aim to reduce the number of shipping accidents of any kind and size. Having recorded between 30 and 35 accidents over the past three years, we exceeded this number in 2018. This is due to the fact that we began recording all incidents 2018. We were already keeping track of major incidents, but are now capturing minor occurrences as well.”

These efforts are part of the ‘Just Culture’ programme devised by the Harbour Master’s Division, which is patterned on similar, well-established procedures in the aviation industry.

Van de Kerkhof: “The programme is designed to foster a culture that ensures maximum learning experiences in relation to incidents and near-misses by assessing these incidents carefully and methodically. Rather than seeking to apportion blame, the aim is to identify any learning points in the process.”

Any incidents are discussed by the parties concerned and recorded in a standardised format, leading to improved evaluations and also revealing possible trends.

Van de Kerkhof: “By exchanging information with each other at an early stage, we can address potential risks and prevent any incidents. Our goal is to create the safest possible port. One way in which we achieve this goal is by establishing clear rules and enforcing these rules. In that regard, I believe there is no such thing as ‘safe enough’.”

Explanation of the figures (in Dutch)

Maximum ESI discount doubled for ships with ESI certificates and LNG

For some years Port of Amsterdam has been giving discounts on port dues to vessels listed in the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) that have attained an ESI score of 20 points or higher. As of 1 August, we will be increasing this incentive by adding another discount.

Port of Amsterdam will be doubling the maximum ESI discount for vessels that are in the possession of an ESI certificate and use LNG for their main engine or auxiliary engine.

LNG emits significantly smaller quantities of particulate matter than other fuels, as well as producing less carbon dioxide. Port of Amsterdam regards LNG as a vital transitional fuel which currently serves as the best alternative for the shipping industry. In order to encourage vessel operators to start using this fuel, we will be providing an additional discount starting 1 August. We also aim to have a bunker pontoon for LNG in place in the Port of Amsterdam by the end of 2018.

The introduction of this discount will help to advance our mission of encouraging the 50,000 seagoing vessels, cruise ships and barges that call on the Port annually to operate as rapidly and efficiently as possible, using the least amount of resources.

Corona: protocol coronavirus for marine traffic

Worldwide there is an outbreak of a new Coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus has also appeared in the Netherlands and other parts of Europe. In this article, you can find out more about the protocol of Port of Amsterdam concerning this virus.

What is our protocol?

Port of Amsterdam requests all seagoing vessels entering the port to submit a Maritime Health Declaration (MDoH), regardless of the situation on board. This MDoH must be sent at least 6 hours prior to arrival at Pilot Station and must have been signed in the last 24 hours. In case of deviations from the Maritime Health Declaration, Port of Amsterdam will contact the Municipal Health Service. Please pay attention to the following: during your stay in the port, it is obligated to notify us of any changes in regards to the health and medical situation on board of your ship. If this is the case, you can contact the Port Operation Centre in IJmuiden (+31(0)20 5234600, option 1) or send an e-mail to

Download the Maritime Health Certificate

You can submit the Maritime Health Declaration to the Port Operations Centre in IJmuiden (+31(0)20 5234600, option 1 or via

Port of Amsterdam is in close contact with the doctors of the GGD. In turn, they are in contact with the national RIVM. The situation is closely monitored. Should there be any change in the situation, we will inform you.

For up-to-date information or more information about the working methods of the GGD, please consult the following websites:

New digital web app Arrivals launched

The new digital web app Arrivals is live. This application gives you access to information about all ship movements in the port of Amsterdam. Arrivals is a website and app in one and will replace the IamPort app.

With this web app there will no longer be different app versions. So when you're online as a user, you'll always have the most up to date information at your disposal.

What are the advantages of the app?

Arrivals gives you insight into all ship movements in the port. Think of information about arrival and departure times, but also detailed information about the ships themselves. Port of Amsterdam has worked with shipping agents and other users on the development and design of the application. The improvements compared to the IamPort application are:

  • It is an application and website in one, so always up-to-date.
  • The application contains a search function that not only makes it easier to find ships, but also berths and harbour basins.
  • It is possible to switch between list and folder view.
  • Various filter options have been added.
  • The ships are displayed in alphabetical order.
  • The status of a ship is now also visible via symbols.

Go to Arrivals


'Lay bys' wait for better times in the port of Amsterdam

Mid-March we decided, together with the Amsterdam-Amstelland Safety region, that river and sea cruise ships are no longer welcome in the port until further notice. The reason for keeping cruise ships out of the port is to minimize the risk of further contamination of the coronavirus.

The cruise season traditionally starts with the opening of the Keukenhof and therefore April and May are the busiest months for us.

Monic van der Heyden, Commercial Manager River Cruise at Port of Amsterdam: 'The minute we noticed that corona was spreading in Europe rapidly, we decided that it was not responsible to facilitate the cruise here. The cruise season traditionally begins with the opening of the Keukenhof (March 21st) and by the end of April alone we had 753 river cruise visits in our reservation systems. So there was no time to lose. It was a tough decision to make, but the right one. We just did not want to take the risk.'

But the coming days 13 river cruise ships will still arrive at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam, what is the story behind that? Monic: 'River cruise ships do not have a fixed home port. Because the river cruise ships do not sail right now, they are looking for a safe place to be moored until the coronavirus is over. The ships that we are expecting have only a minimum of three crew members on board and no passengers.'

'We facilitate these ships because, on the one hand, it does not pose a threat to public health. We look at it on a case-by-case basis because it is also a core task of a port to provide a safe place to moor if a ship requests it. We do this more often, for example, during the winter several river cruise ships hold a 'winter stall' in the Coenhaven.'

'The Port Bye-laws stipulates that ships must have a minimum crew. A maximum of three people is, therefore, present onboard each ship: the captain, the engineer and a sailor. Also, the rules apply that it is not allowed to have passengers or other persons on board the ship. The Harbour Master supervises this as well. In the case of imposition, the ships use only a fraction of the energy required for full occupancy with guests. For example, one ship will also cook for the crew of the other ships. It is not yet possible to say how long they will stay in the port of Amsterdam, but we hope that this will be as short as possible because that would mean that the virus is under control and that would be fantastic news.'