Europe’s main gateway for trade
- Rotterdam is Europe’s main gateway for trade, its largest terminal and the 11th largest in the world based on annual container volumes. APM Terminals signed the contract with the Port of Rotterdam in August 2006 to create the MVII terminal.
In a fenced-in area of APM Terminals’ Maasvlakte II (MVII) container terminal in Rotterdam, two massive robots are moving containers around with no people anywhere in sight.
“They’re practicing, we’re observing,” says William Rengelink, Technical Integration Manager for the MVII terminal project. Rengelink is directing the hidden part of the terminal build – the software and systems that the machines and people will rely on to operate the terminal.
About 300 people will work at MVII, almost all of them outside the container yard. And of the 74 machines in the yard, 63 will run on their own with no human intervention.
The MVII terminal is still under construction so a handful of people are temporarily working in the yard, but on 1 November 2014 when the terminal opens for business, the robots will take over.