The Rotterdam District Court has passed judgment in the dispute about the way in which the Port of Rotterdam Authority developed the Maasvlakte 2 project.
The court ruled that the Port Authority did not abuse a position of economic power when allocating new port sites.
According to the court’s ruling, “The Port Authority did not act unlawfully by promoting greater competition between the container stevedoring terminals. It was inevitable that there would be temporary over-capacity. With its policy, the Port Authority served the interests of the more long-term development of the port of Rotterdam. Furthermore, it took measures to limit the negative consequences of this over-capacity.”
“ECT (Europe Container Terminals) was not denied a fair chance in the tendering procedure. The court found no evidence that the Port Authority had made any firm commitments to ECT which it failed to honor. The terms and conditions of the agreements which the Port Authority made with ECT are no less favorable than those made with its rivals.”
The Port of Rotterdam Authority issued a statement following the ruling saying that the Port Authority has always acted correctly and treated the various terminal operators equally.
“We have always regretted that this issue led to legal proceedings. Now that this clear ruling has been issued, we hope to be able to bring this matter quickly to a close, and together with ECT and the other stakeholders to devote our energies to strengthening Rotterdam’s competitive position.”
The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has warned that this ruling should not lead to two terminals at the port’s new Maasvlakte 2 site being rushed prematurely into operation before the dialog of the involved parties is completed.
Press Release, September 25, 2014