PORT of Rotterdam is taking Brexit precautions with the construction of five new buffer parking sites for freight traffic.

The local Rotterdam government and port authority as well as the municipality of Vlaardigan and highways authority Rijkswaterstaat are working in tandem on the project, meant to minimise shipping delays at ferry and shortsea terminals in the event the UK leaves the European Union.

About 54m tonnes of freight are traded between the UK and the Netherlands annually, 40m of which passes through the Port of Rotterdam, ferry and shortsea terminals in particular.

The five parking spots will provide trucks with a place to wait if there are problems concerning their customs documents for maritime crossing.

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If the UK’s exit from the EU is successful, Dutch seaports will form a border between Britain and the UK, complicating freight traffic with the processing of customs papers and passports by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Safety Authority and resulting in longer processing times at terminals.

As a secondary precaution to the overflow of truck capacity, the organisations have allotted reserved overflow areas as well as the parking sites and Rijkswaterstaat has been busy mapping out traffic control plans with all parties to ensure freight in and out of Rotterdam flows as smoothly as possible.

In a study into the effects of processing freight traffic post-Brexit arranged by the Port of Rotterdam, data suggests about 400 trucks will be held up because of insufficient customs documents and 700 parking spaces will be needed to account for the overflow.

The municipality of Rotterdam has allocated the five buffer parking sites along the Northern and Southern banks, the two largest sites creating space for 200 and nearly 300 trucks in the Hoek van Holland ferry terminal and Moezelweg, respectively. The other three sites hold approximately 210 trucks collectively.

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