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Plan your shipping route

Almost three years ago, the Port of Rotterdam Authority launched Navigate. Meanwhile, Navigate has become indispensable for Rotterdam. As an online tool it is currently also available for the ports of Sohar and Gdansk. Emile Hoogsteden, Vice President Commercial at the Port of Rotterdam Authority, explains what value Navigate has for Rotterdam.


Why is Navigate important to the Port of Rotterdam Authority?

‘You want the port to make a favourable impression. You want to get the possibilities and the potential across. Normally speaking, you do so by visiting fairs, by using a good website and brochures, and by visiting clients or potential clients. With Navigate Rotterdam we enable clients to find out for themselves what possibilities they have for shipping cargo via Rotterdam. We show them the shortest, the fastest, and the most sustainable routes via Rotterdam. On the basis of this information, a shipper or forwarder can make his own choice from the comfort of his desk.

Of course, we still have a good website, and we still organise webinars and visit fairs if that is possible, but clients often tell me they like it when they can see for themselves what the possibilities are.’

Is this specifically important in these times of COVID-19?

‘Navigate is a convenient tool anyway, but especially now that we cannot visit clients or fairs anymore, Navigate is important. It allows us to show what is possible via Rotterdam. Otherwise, it will be a very indirect way of getting our story across.’

In addition to Navigate, the Port of Rotterdam Authority has started Routescanner. What is the difference?

‘Sometimes you want to look for connections without any preference for a particular location. You want to fly from the Netherlands to London, for instance. An independent site will show you flights from Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, Rotterdam Airport, and Eindhoven Airport. This is what Routescanner does. But sometimes you have a preference. You would rather fly from Schiphol because you live nearby or because you like the airport. In that case, you can visit the Schiphol website to look for the options of flying to London. You can compare this with Navigate Rotterdam.’

Routescanner’s special value is that all routes can be compared neutrally and transparently — Emile Hoogsteden, Vice President Commercial


Routescanner compares routes world-wide. What if the competitors of the Port of Rotterdam have better routes?

‘We will show those routes too. Either you do it well or you don’t do it all. Routescanner’s special value is that all routes can be compared neutrally and transparently, so you need to have confidence in your own port. We are convinced that we have excellent connectivity, that we are reliable, and that we provide good service. Of course, we are not the best option for all routes, but for many routes we are. You can make this clear by showing all the possibilities.

Sometimes, another port will be preferred, but we can learn from this. Routescanner provides proper insight into the possibilities and impossibilities. We want to be the smartest port as well as the best and most reliable one. To make this happen, we have to adopt a vulnerable position, be transparent, and improve continuously.

This article is shared by courtesy of Port of Rotterdam. Navigate is built on data of the Routescanner platform. Routescanner is becoming a global platform that provides insight into all routes for worldwide container transport and helps users to find, compare and choose the best options. From door to door and completely neutral. Operators share their schedules directly with Routescanner, meaning the schedules available in Navigate are built on first party data: accurate and reliable.

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