Last week, the Port of Cork and Port of Amsterdam International, in the presence of His Majesty Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Máxima, as well as Minister Sigrid Kaag, signed a collaboration agreement in Cork. Both ports will research in what areas they can strengthen and support each other.
Ireland is an important trading partner for the Netherlands. In 2017, the country exported over €5.5 billion worth of goods to the Netherlands. This makes the Netherlands the sixth biggest export destination for Irish goods. In the same year, Ireland imported over €3.5 billion worth of goods from the Netherlands. This chiefly consisted of pharmaceuticals, machines, and transport equipment.
The Port of Cork as well as Port of Amsterdam wishes to share their expertise and experience in a number of areas in order to promote trade between their ports. Themes under consideration are port development, stakeholder management, cruise development, ports logistics and mitigation of the impact of Brexit, which is expected to have a significant impact on Ireland. The definitive themes are to be determined in the upcoming months. The agreement is part of the ambition of Port of Amsterdam to strengthen its position in the short sea segment.
Even though it is as of yet not clear which Brexit scenario will come to fruition, the expectation is that the logistics of trade through the United Kingdom will be more expensive and complex. This makes direct (shipping) connections to the European mainland more viable. The expectation is therefore that this will be accompanied by a shift from use of the landbridge to use of direct shipping connections with the Netherlands.
Gert-Jan Nieuwenhuizen, Managing Director of Port of Amsterdam International: “We see many opportunities to work together with Port of Cork, the second largest port in Ireland. With an eye on developing partnerships, we look for ports that wish to exchange knowledge and that we can support in successful port development. We research scenarios, look at opportunities and seek to jointly capitalise on these opportunities.”
Chairman of the Port of Cork John Mullins added: “Our historical bond with the Netherlands means that we know each other well, and our joint goals ensure a smooth collaboration. Port of Cork is making significant investments to keep developing the port and we have grand ambitions for our commercial position. We look forward to what this collaboration will bring to both ports.”