How the Port of Rotterdam is Transitioning into a Circular Port

Year 2022 (September)
Author(s) Ram Mohan Varma


The Port of Rotterdam, in terms of its size and strategic location, is in a strong position to transition itself into a full Circular Economy (CE) and the future circular hub of Europe by 2050. The port sees CE as the potential solution to meet the climate change regulations along with energy transition, and in the larger context of sustainability.

In this paper, we try to understand and explore how the Port of Rotterdam monitors and fosters its CE ambitions. Based on analysis of port documents and unstructured in depth interviews with Port CE experts we could identify indicators used, but based largely on CE objectives and goals existing in the port. Employing a triangulation strategy using the Circular Flanders (exploratory study, 2022) longlist indicators, the number of CE projects found the largest match along with future infrastructure developments to support and foster the growth of CE. Few of the objectives reported by the port could not find a match to the Circular Flanders (2022) indicators (2022) while many indicators could not find matching objectives, which could result once the port raises its CE ambitions.

Not only does this study exhibit the robustness of the longlist indicators while validating its applicability to any port but also enforces the recommendation that the Port of Rotterdam can use this indicator set effectively to monitor, further its CE goals and use it as a strategic tool set to foster its CE ambitions. Moreover, it also helps us understand the current and future initiatives that are in progress in the Port of Rotterdam.

Finally, a benchmark analysis with the Port of Amsterdam allows us to understand the steps, which the Port of Rotterdam can adopt to evolve and improve their strategies while comparing its existing performance with that of Port of Amsterdam.




Port Performance

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IndicatorsMonitoringPort of RotterdamPort performance