The Rotterdam Maasvlaktes


In the 1960s, the Dutch added a considerable area in the Meuse estuary to the Rotterdam harbour. By building a large ring dyke and pumping sand from the North Sea into it, the port could suddenly accommodate more and bigger ships without endangering shipping routes on the waterways.

Tweede Maasvlakte

The authorities have recently decided on a second expansion of the Rotterdam port, which is to be realised to the West of the Maasvlakte. The port area will be enlarged by adding some 2000 hectares, resulting in a 20% growth. It is Rotterdam’s bid to regain its place as the world’s biggest harbour.


The new port area must be accessible both by water and by land and will be used primarily for container transhipment, distribution and the chemical industries. These are expected to be the biggest growth industries in the future. All in all both new Maasvlaktes represent an ingenious example of Dutch water management.

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