Last week I had the chance to explore a piece of Rotterdam Port, the largest port in Europe, as I hopped aboard a container vessel for a tour. The boyfriend-tulip-man recently started his own business in logistics and needed some photos for the website, so I got to play the photographer for a day. And amongst my constant snapping away of photos, I learned a few interesting tidbits. So here are 7 things you didn’t know about Rotterdam Port, the largest port in Europe!
1. It’s futuristic
A lot of the moving and loading of the containers is done by robots! In many terminals, robotic cranes take the containers off of the ships, then unmanned, computer-navigated vehicles move the containers to their place in the terminal. These areas of the port are called “ghost terminals”. Spooky!
2. It’s built from the ground up
Actually, from the sea up! Many places in Rotterdam are below sea level, and much of the port actually used to be ocean! But the Dutch are really great at moving water. The windmills that seem to define the Netherlands are actually used to pump out water and prevent flooding.
3. It’s poppin’
30,000 sea-going ships and 110,000 inland ships visit the port each year. That’s 383 ships every day!
4. It’s home to some VIP’s (err..VIS’s)
The largest container ship in the world, the MSC Oscar, made an appearance in Rotterdam port last year. This big hunk of metal can carry 39,000 cars!
5. It’s a way of life
We were given a tour of the Kuala Lumpur Express by the captain himself! During our three hours aboard he gave us some insight into what it’s like to live the life of a seamen.
- Captains and ship personnel generally stay with the ship for 3 to 6 months at a time, then go home for 3 to 6 months.
- Things are kept ultra tidy. The ship is not only a workplace, it’s home, so things are kept impeccably clean.
- Everybody wears Crocs. Outside of every cabin door sat a pair of 2006’s favorite fashion phenomenon, Crocs.
6. It exports happiness
The Netherlands is the world’s largest exporter of flowers and one of the largest exporters of cheese! They also export the highest proportion of their beer production, 50%, to include the widely popular Heineken.
7. It has a brand new, super savvy, best in the business logistics service
Yes, the tulip-man’s new gig, Orange Shipping and Logistics! After having worked in the business for years, he was ready to start something of his own, so with a friend he went all in and opened up OS&L in January of this year. So let’s say you want a few pallets or a container full of wooden shoes. His company handles all the logistics of getting the wooden shoes across the ocean, delivered to your doorstep. Check out their new website and Facebook page (and give ’em a like while you’re at it!), and don’t hesitate to reach out to him with your questions or business inquires!