Interforest Terminal Rotterdam (ITR) has completed a significant investment program. The stevedoring company has increased both its transshipment and storage capacity and its service level. First, a new 20,000 square meter warehouse will be opened on April 9 by Mr. Hans Smits, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. The second container gantry crane will be put into service in May. A new warehouse management system will come into use late 2008.

The program’s investment totals 15 million euros. The warehouse accounts for about 8.5 million euros of this. ‘Its clean internal conditions make it unique,’ ITR Managing Director Bob de Lange comments. ‘The warehouse was specifically designed to accommodate the most sensitive paper and woodpulp grades, such as the qualities for medical use, for food packaging and for personal hygiene like diapers, tissues et cetera. We comply with the HACCP regulations and one could call it a clean room.’

Dust prevention measures include a concrete floor and electrical lift trucks. Equally clean LPG-powered lift trucks will be applied only for the heaviest lifts. Trucks are not allowed inside and will be handled under vast canopies. A highly effective deterrent system is guaranteed to keep all birds out. ‘Air tight’ dockboards ensure weather independent stripping and stuffing of containers, which is an important activity with Interforest featuring paper and woodpulp.

‘All these additional investments enable us to offer shippers a top quality which, I can honestly say, is unique anywhere in the Dutch ports for such sensitive paper and pulp grades. Stevedoring and storage capacity of this sort is in much demand, but due to tight capacity we regularly had to abstain. Our quality claims also include the proposition of more efficient, flexible operations thanks to the extra storage space. About 75% of the 20,000 square meters of new space is destined for new business. Our total warehouse capacity is now 72,000 square meters.’

Commissioning the second container crane too had a dual motive, notably both to accommodate growth and to raise service levels through increased flexibility. The crane will be put into service early May (2008) and is identical to the first one. The Panamax type cranes can operate 14 container rows wide and ’ using a special spreader ’ can also handle heavy unitized forest products. Interforest Terminal Rotterdam handles deepsea and shortsea container ships and inland barges.

‘Having one crane only is curbs efficiency’, Interforest director Bob de Lange says. ‘At our 500-meter container quay we can now handle two ships simultaneously, or deploy two cranes on one ship. Like the new warehouse, the crane is to attract growth and to enable faster operations.’

Interforest is currently discussing new container services with a number of shipping lines.

At the end of 2008 a new warehouse management system is to become operational. As it will optimize warehouse space utilization, it will increase the storage capacity. In addition, a much greater positioning precision will help the lift trucks speed-up order picking or storing.