Possible difficulties and increased costs for barges calling at the RWG Terminal in Rotterdam, due to low water on the Rhine
In order to ensure optimum handling of containers transported by barge, in the last few months many terminals have introduced a "Minimum Call Size", meaning a minimum quantity of handlings per barge. In the case of the Rotterdam World Gateway Terminal (RWG) this minimum number is 15 containers. This measure reduces the congestion problems, and indeed it is welcomed by Contargo. Normally, reaching this minimum quantity presents no problem for us.
In the present (very) low water situation we can only load our barges with 1/3 to 1/4 of the normal number of containers. This also means that we can no longer satisfy the minimum quantity for the various seaport terminals in every case. Almost all the seaport terminals have been very cooperative and have waived the minimum quantity during the present low water period. RWG has not.
Since at the RWG Terminal we are still not permitted to go below the minimum quantity, even in this special situation, there are now the following possibilities:
a) The containers destined for RWG are 'parked' in the hinterland until we have collected enough containers to call at RWG. This might lead to difficulties with closings.
b) The containers for RWG are unloaded at one of our terminals on the Lower Rhine (Hub) and then bundled together with another barge to continue to RWG. This generates small additional costs which we regretfully have to pass on.
c) The containers for RWG are unloaded at another seaport terminal in Rotterdam and then brought to RWG, usually by truck. We also have to pass on the additional costs that arise in this case.
At the same time we are making every effort to bundle the containers within our trimodal container network, so that the additional costs and delays described above do not occur in the first place. If this is not possible, you will be informed by your contact at Contargo, and together with you we will try to keep any additional costs as low as possible.
Our personnel will be very glad to answer your questions and/or provide further information.
Contargo GmbH & Co. KG