Port of Rotterdam’s Oldest Container Terminal Closes Its Gates

The Port of Rotterdam has closed its oldest container terminal ECT City Terminal at the Eemhaven on Thursday, 1 October, with the departure of the last sea-going client, the container ship CMA CGM Sambhar.

The decision comes as the terminal became unable to cope with the increases in scale in container shipping after almost 50 years of service. Nowadays, the largest container vessels are 400 metres long and 60 metres wide. This requires deeper docks and larger cranes.

As a result, ECT is switching cargo handling in the Eemhaven to its two much larger and more modern terminals on the Maasvlakte, Delta terminal and Euromax.

“The closure of the ECT City Terminal constitutes the end of an era. As a pioneer in the field of container handling, ECT has made history here. This is where container handling in Rotterdam started and matured,” said ECT Chief Executive Officer Leo Ruijs.

“Ever-larger vessels constantly require deeper and deeper ports and more modern facilities. At our ECT Delta Terminal and Euromax Terminal Rotterdam, situated directly on the North Sea, we are able to meet that demand and we are constantly investing there,” he adds.

ECT Home terminal opened in 1967, with the maiden call by Atlantic Span of shipping line Atlantic Container Line.

Container throughput in Rotterdam soared and ECT quickly started to take up more space at the Eemhaven. Ultimately, this led to the opening of the ECT Delta Terminal at the Maasvlakte in 1984.

According to the Port Authority, the ECT site, covering 65 hectares, will retain its port-related use. Namely, the port has plans to redevelop the site for use by businesses in the vicinity and new activities.