Region Deal strengthens the Port of Zwolle as a logistics hub for the circular economy

The Port of Zwolle, the logistics hub of the North-East, will receive a subsidy as part of the Regio Deal that the Zwolle region has signed with the Dutch government, which will enable it to develop into a logistics hub for circular activities and energy. The municipalities of Zwolle, Kampen and Meppel, the Noordelijk Innovatielab Circulaire Economie (NICE) and the Port Authority are delighted with this commitment. “This is a fantastic milestone,” says Jeroen van den Ende, managing director of the Port of Zwolle. “In this way, the Port Authority can contribute to the broad prosperity of the region, which is one of the ambitions of Regio Zwolle.”

Strengthening the economic structure

As part of its strategy to strengthen the business climate for SMEs, the Port of Zwolle is focusing on the circular economy, energy and climate adaptation. “We are doing this with new plans for port development and a supra-regional business park, as well as business development within the logistics hub Port of Zwolle,” responds Geert Meijering, alderman of the municipality of Kampen. “In this way, we are making a concrete contribution to strengthening the economic structure through sustainable growth and the circular entrepreneurship of SMEs. With the Regio Deal, the Zwolle region and the Port of Zwolle are able to combine economy and ecology in the right way to prepare the region for the coming decades.

The approach

Within the project ‘Port of Zwolle: Logistic hub for circular activity and energy‘, the focus is on:

  1. Positive energy: Port of Zwolle as a battery for the city and region.
  2. The Port of Zwolle wants to create a port that produces more energy than it consumes: a battery for the city and region. This energy innovation will be an important catalyst for the circular development of the port in the Zwolle region.
  3. Valuable raw materials: Port of Zwolle as a recycling hub for the city and region.
  4. The Port of Zwolle wants to create a port that functions as a raw materials hub that adds value to residual flows: an upcycle hub for the city and region. This circular port is first and foremost about preserving the value of raw materials by making them reusable. It is also about adding value to waste products by using them as raw materials.
  5. Circular hub: Port of Zwolle as a climate-adapted hotspot for the city and region.
  6. The Port of Zwolle wants to create a hub that is a physical testing ground for climate adaptation and nature friendliness: a climate-adaptive hotspot for the city and region. It will be a prototype of the IJssel-Vecht Delta as a demonstration delta for water issues for the whole of the Netherlands.
  7. Circular innovation: Port of Zwolle as a circular SME laboratory for the city and region.

With NICE, the Port of Zwolle wants to build a transition capacity for innovative business development around energy and circularity: a circular business lab for the city and region. The Circular Lab NICE focuses on learning by doing. Companies are supported with knowledge, capacity, exchange and inspiration in the form of a coherent learning programme.

Joint transition

In cooperation with the government, education and business, the Port of Zwolle wants to strengthen this economic development with new forms of activity in the Zwolle region around themes such as circularity and energy. This will prepare the regional economy for the major transitions around circularity, energy and climate. New high-quality jobs will be created, contributing to the development and strengthening of the logistics sector and thus the economic vitality of the region.

Fourth top economic region

As the fourth top economic region on a national level, the region wants to compete with Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Rotterdam. The port of Zwolle has a large catchment area in the north and east of the Netherlands and (parts of) northern Germany. There are also trade links with Northern Europe and the Baltic States. This makes the Zwolle region strategically favourable, which is a crucial factor for the investment climate. The ports of Zwolle form an important hub. As the only inland port in the Netherlands that can receive seagoing vessels, the Port of Zwolle gives the region the key to becoming the fourth largest economic region in the Netherlands.

This article first appeared (in Dutch) on Transport Online Haven Nieuws – October 21, 2020

Image credit: Port of Zwolle



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