OMGT2321 Global Trade Operations

OMGT2321 Global Trade Operations

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OMGT2321 Global Trade Operations

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OMGT2321 Global Trade Operations

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Course Code: OMGT2321
University: RMIT University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Viet Nam


The purpose of assignment one is to help you to develop a better understanding of the role, functions, and characteristics of a global port city of international trade.While reading and attempting to review this piece of research work, you could have the opportunity to learn and discuss the role and management of global seaports from an international trade perspective as well as to establish the relationships between the theories that you will learn during lectures with current practices in the industry.
In your assignment, you are required to investigate Rotterdam global port city and then undertake an in-depth analysis of comparative and competitive advantages.
In this assignment, you are required to demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge regarding Rotterdam port city, particularly but not limited to the following topics.Historical evolutionComparative and competitive advantagesOperational challengesBusiness strategiesFuture business prospect
In general, the report should have a clear executive summary; TOC, an introduction including the purpose of the report, methodology (how you went about collecting data and information?); analysis and results (what did you find?)


Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe that is located in the City of Rotterdam, Netherlands. Until 2004 the Rotterdam Port was considered to be the busiest port in the world with a massive annual cargo tonnage ( 2018). It can be argued that due to the presence of such a huge port the city of Rotterdam becomes a popular and hub of industrial activities profoundly (Frantzeskaki, Wittmayer and Loorbach 2014). From that perspective the city of Rotterdam is considered to have immense importance. In this regard, the purpose of this report is to undertake a thorough research on different aspects of the Port City of Rotterdam. In response to this, the historical evaluation and the comparative and competitive advantages are incorporated into the discussion. Moreover, the report also discusses the business strategies that the Port of Rotterdam follows and also highlights the future business prospect of the port.
Historical evaluation
Rotterdam is identified as one of the major European port and the second largest city of the Netherlands. Located in the North Sea. The name of Rotterdam was first mentioned in 1283 as a small tract of land that was created by draining the mouth of the Rotte River. However, the region was developed as a fishing village within 1328 (Huang-Lachmann and Lovett 2016). By the year 1340 it became the major port in the province. This was the start of Rotterdam Port to get a significant place in the history of Netherlands. During the enlightenment period and development of modern science in the 17th century, the port got enormous impetus to explore and discover new regions and became a trading hub to Dutch Commerce (Zhang and Pel 2016).
During the French occupation in 1795 to the fall of Napoleon in 1815 most of the trade of the port had been disbanded. In response to this, the transit trade had taken place and increase the importance of the Rotterdam Port once again (Vos et al. 2015). However, during the World War II the Rotterdam city was demolished and devastated with its port by the Germans. As a result of that a new layout of the city with brand new planning for the renovation of the Rotterdam Port (van der Lugt, Rodrigues and Van den Berg 2014).
Comparative and competitive advantage
As per the mission and vision statement of the Port of Rotterdam is concerned, it can be stated that the Port of Rotterdam authority is an autonomous company with the aims to create economic and social value by working with the customers and the stakeholders in order to attain sustainability. In this context, the logistic chains, networks and clusters both in Europe and worldwide are important and have to be more effective and efficient.
From the geo-economic perspective, the Port of Rotterdam has a strategic position in the Hamburg-Le Havre range. As a result of that the port has unconstrained access from the sea. In addition to this, the unchallenged access of the European inland waterway make a better environment for the Port of Rotterdam to maintain both inland and international market very exquisitely (Wiegmans and Dekker 2016). As a matter of fact, the location advantage also helps Port of Rotterdam to make better investment decision and contains all types of cargo because of its huge space. As far as the report of the Port of Rotterdam authority, it can be seen that the overall activity upload of the port is 2.2% down on the first half of the 2017 ( 2018). However, there are astonishingly increase in the container with a rate of 5.9%. As a matter of fact, the Port of Rotterdam achieved a throughput of 232.8 million tonnes in the first half of the annual year of 2018. As a result of that in compare to the other ports in the Hamburg-Le Havre range Rotterdam has succeeded to increase its business up to 0.3% in compare to the previous year where the growth rate was 30.9% (Bosman et al.2018). From the context of the financial position of the Port of Rotterdam, it can be asserted that the revenue of the port was stable in the first half of the 2018 with a worth of € 126.1 million.
Operational challenges
Despite of having a number of opportunities and prospect for the Port of Rotterdam, there are still some problems that can be identified in the light of the operational aspect.
New agreement on oil export
The new agreement on the extraction of fossil fuel is considered to be an important aspect for the operational activity of Port of Rotterdam. The port is one of the major oil port in the European region and most of its revenue is generated through the export of crude oil and fossil fuel. Rotterdam is a hub of petrochemical sector and there are many petrochemical plants which run oil products (Super et al. 2017). As a result it becomes a grave problem for the Port of Rotterdam to maintain its operation with oil as a major exporting products. As a matter of fact, the international forum put a stern regulation on the extraction of the fossil fuel from the seabed. It is also put obstacle for the operation of Port of Rotterdam as the port authority realises the need for an alternative.
Use of rail and barge for transport
Another major challenge that the Port of Rotterdam is facing is related to the use conventional mode of rail and barge for the transportation of shipping containers. There are lots of advantages of using such conventional measure in terms of the volume of transportation. Massive load of cargo leads to the slowdown the transportation. As a result of that it causes a huge problem for the Port of Rotterdam in its operation. Moreover, those container trains are handled at Rail Service Centres (RSC) at Maasvlakte (Xiao et al. 2015). It requires some space inside the port for uploading the cargos and it has to be used by the train authority without any intervention from the port authority. This is considered to be a great problem because of huge paperwork to be done. Moreover, the process needs a fruitful meeting between the stakeholders.
Business strategies
In case of understanding the business strategy of Port of Rotterdam it is essential to figure out the different business activities that the port is practised. In fact, those business strategies are provided some competitive advantage for Port of Rotterdam to retain its business effectively in the European market. Both the sustainability and good relationship with the customers and stakeholders are contributed effectively in setting up a better business strategy for the Port of Rotterdam. Therefore, the Port of Rotterdam authority puts emphasis on some priorities like emphasising on expanding the existing market with a better penetration strategy ( 2018). As a matte o fact, due to the issues regarding oil extraction and export the port authority now tries to diversify its market with the adaption of entering the bio-based and offshore markets. Moreover, keep a track on the maintenance of the energy, transport and utilities are also important for the Port of Rotterdam. It requires huge investment in order to enhance the efficacy of the maritime, inter-terminal and the hinterland transport (Merk and Notteboom 2013). Close connection with the hinterland is also of paramount importance and the Port of Rotterdam authority has to keep that on check. Modernising the existing framework with a creative space for innovation is also incorporated into the strategy of Port of Rotterdam.
Future business prospects
It is important for the Port of Rotterdam authority to expand its market more extensively so that the port can use the bio products as one of the major contributor to the export business. It is associated with find out new trading routes in order to increase the volume of goods. In this regard, the European Union TEN-T Waterprojects on the Danube River was initiated and expects to be completed around 2020.
There is huge opportunity for the Port of Rotterdam to increase its cargo ships and outstretched the inland market more intensively. It requires the intervention of the import of large container vessels with a volume of 10,000 to 12,500 TEUs. It will bring more advantage of the port to set up its
Moreover, for a long-term opportunity Opening the Northern Sea Passage for up to 3 months will be effective. In fact, using the Behring Straits tunnel for easy transportation will facilitate to reach the market in Russian Federation in one hand and Alaska and North America on the other.
Bosman, R., Loorbach, D., Rotmans, J. and van Raak, R., 2018. Carbon Lock-Out: Leading the Fossil Port of Rotterdam into Transition. Sustainability, 10(7), p.2558.
Frantzeskaki, N., Wittmayer, J. and Loorbach, D., 2014. The role of partnerships in ‘realising’urban sustainability in Rotterdam’s City Ports Area, The Netherlands. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, pp.406-417.
Huang-Lachmann, J.T. and Lovett, J.C., 2016. How cities prepare for climate change: Comparing Hamburg and Rotterdam. Cities, 54, pp.36-44.
Merk, O. and Notteboom, T. (2013). The Competitiveness of Global Port-Cities: The Case of Rotterdam/Amsterdam – the Netherlands. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018]. 2018. Mission, vision and strategy. [online] Port of Rotterdam. Available at: [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018]. 2018. Sustained growth in container throughput did not fully offset declining throughput in other sectors. [online] Port of Rotterdam. Available at: [Accessed 29 Nov. 2018].
Super, I., van der Gon, H.D., Visschedijk, A.J.H., Moerman, M.M., Chen, H., Van der Molen, M.K. and Peters, W., 2017. Interpreting continuous in-situ observations of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the urban port area of Rotterdam. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 8(1), pp.174-187.
van der Lugt, L.M., Rodrigues, S.B. and Van den Berg, R., 2014. Co-evolution of the strategic reorientation of port actors: insights from the Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Barcelona. Journal of Transport Geography, 41, pp.197-209.
Vos, Peter C., Frans PM Bunnik, Kim M. Cohen, and Holger Cremer. “A staged geogenetic approach to underwater archaeological prospection in the Port of Rotterdam (Yangtzehaven, Maasvlakte, The Netherlands): A geological and palaeoenvironmental case study for local mapping of Mesolithic lowland landscapes.” Quaternary International 367 (2015): 4-31.
Wiegmans, B. and Dekker, S., 2016. Benchmarking deep-sea port performance in the Hamburg-Le Havre range. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 23(1), pp.96-112.
Xiao, F., Ligteringen, H., Van Gulijk, C. and Ale, B., 2015. Comparison study on AIS data of ship traffic behavior. Ocean Engineering, 95, pp.84-93.
Zhang, M. and Pel, A.J., 2016. Synchromodal hinterland freight transport: Model study for the port of Rotterdam. Journal of Transport Geography, 52, pp.1-10.

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