Port of Rotterdam: Annual nautical figures 2021, safe year; pandemic no impact on continuity

The Rotterdam Port Authority division, responsible for the safe and smooth management of maritime traffic and compliance with port security law, came through the second corona year unscathed. The pandemic has not jeopardized the continuity of services.

The number of seagoing vessels arriving in Rotterdam increased by around 700 to almost 29,000. Three serious accidents occurred, each causing only property damage.

The number of seagoing vessels arriving in Rotterdam in 2021 increased from 28,169 to 28,876, compared to 29,492 seagoing vessels arriving in the Port of Rotterdam in 2019. The difference is largely due to the increase in scale container transport. .

Slightly more damage
The boating safety index for accidents (7.5) was better than the target of 7. The environmental safety index for inspections (7.4) almost equaled the target of 7.5. Due to the pandemic, fewer inspections were carried out, but these were more targeted. This led to a relatively higher number of results. Some 462 tickets were issued, including 76 for pleasure craft. The number of accidents – half of which involved parking damage only (67) – rose from 122 to 144. Three of them were serious: a seagoing vessel hit the Caland bridge, a inland navigation brushed against a seagoing vessel in the Eemhaven, and a tug capsized in the Bocht van Esch near the Van Brienenoord bridge.

Harbor master René de Vries looks back on the second corona year with satisfaction. “I am proud of my colleagues. This second corona year, our services were also not compromised and the port remained easily accessible throughout the year. 2021 was also a safe year. 144 incidents in approximately 800,000 ship movements is not a high number, although the increase in accidents is not heartening. Most of them were caused by hasty docking. Seafarers are on board for longer periods and crews are in high demand. This calls for increased vigilance on our part, because the pandemic is far from over,” said the captaincy.

Vaccination of sailors

Vaccination of seafarers (Photo: Erik Jansen)

The work of the Harbor Master’s Office was also dominated by the corona pandemic in 2021. From time to time the work was organized differently because of this. At the same time, the Maritime Declaration of Health (MDoH) has been automated. A marked improvement, if you compare that with the 25,000 manual assessments that were required last year. In 2021, the Port Authority and the Municipal Health Service (GGD) had daily consultations on the pandemic, particularly because crew members who had contracted COVID-19 or who had been in close contact with people tested positive for the disease, had to be received and relieved.

Therefore, hundreds of seafarers spent their isolation or quarantine at the Wings/Fletcher Hotel near Rotterdam airport before they could return home or continue their journey at sea. In some cases, the decontamination of ships was so drastic that the crews had to be accommodated in “botels”. Crew changes could take place in Rotterdam as usual, causing additional commotion in the Wings/Fletcher Hotel from time to time. Port Health Authority Rotterdam (PHAR) and this hotel entered into a cooperation in 2020. The PHAR is a partnership between several parties, including the Port Authority, the Safety Region Rotterdam-Rijnmond and the GGD Rotterdam-Rijnmond. The fight against infectious diseases (such as corona) in the port of Rotterdam is an important task for PHAR.

The Port Authority was one of the initiators of the strategy for seafarers’ access to vaccination. Since June 15, 2021, nearly 25,000 vaccinations (with the Janssen vaccine) have been administered to seafarers. More than half of them took place in Rotterdam. The recall campaign (with the Pfizer vaccine) for seafarers started last week.
Source: Port of Rotterdam

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