Skip to content

Break-out & panel discussion circularity at the SmartPort Summit 2023 scroll down

Circular Port of Rotterdam
From abstract ambitions to concrete opportunities

The transition from a linear to circular economy is essential for the survival of the port of Rotterdam. We need to use (scarce) resources and materials more efficiently. This is the only way to achieve the desired CO2 reduction of 55% in 2030 and be completely CO2 neutral by 2050. To realise this, companies, governments and knowledge institutions will have to work together.

During a break-out session at the SmartPort Summit, we started working on actual, circular (maritime) practical examples from the port of Rotterdam. Many initiatives are already going on in the field of circularity, for example in the maritime manufacturing industry, the raw materials transition and in the logistics sector. But what is really needed to establish a fully circular port? What should Rotterdam focus on? What are the opportunities and challenges? And what knowledge is still missing?

We have had fruitful discussions about modular design and construction (so that things can be taken apart and are adaptable), about retrofitting and life time extension of the existing fleet and last but not least: high-quality reuse after dismantling – which is becoming increasingly important given the geopolitical developments. Do we have everything it takes to become that cradle-to-cradle shipbuilding innovation hub that Professor Michael Braungart also emphasised? We think so!

As icing on the cake, we ended this day with an interactive panel with Jeannette Baljeu and Sabine Biesheuvel. The angle was what governments and companies can expect from each other and especially how we can move from abstract ambitions to concrete opportunities and actions. That’s where change happens and that’s what we aim for together!


About SmartPort

SmartPort is a neutral knowledge platform, stimulating alliances, financing scientific research and providing public knowledge dissemination. The aim is to speed up innovations in the port of Rotterdam. SmartPort is a not for profit partnership of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Deltalinqs, the Municipality of Rotterdam, Erasmus University, Delft University of Technology, TNO, Deltares and Marin.

The year 2050 seems far away, but the energy transition, digitization and automation will have a major impact on the port and society. These are opportunities for the port and city of Rotterdam. A healthy port-industrial cluster with an attractive city and a flexible and sustainable transport chain is the target for the port of Rotterdam. Only in collaboration with governments and knowledge institutions, a company can prepare for the world of tomorrow. And only then Rotterdam can emerge as the most innovative and sustainable port in 2050+.

More about SmartPort


What others say (about us)