Press release, 16 March 2011

On 15 March, the College of Mayor and Alderpersons proposed the corporatisation of the Port of Amsterdam (Amsterdamse havenbedrijf). Operating as a governmental limited liability company, the Port of Amsterdam would be able to enter into more partnerships in the commercial logistics sector and therefore improve its performance in the face of international competition.

Enterprising strategical partner

The Port of Amsterdam is a municipal company and following corporatisation, it would move forward as a limited liability company (known as NV Haven Amsterdam). The new construction would mean that the Port of Amsterdam would be able to enter into regional, national or international collaborations more easily and could also become a more enterprising strategical partner.

The Repositioning of the Port of Amsterdam Research Phase Report (Onderzoeksfase Herpositionering Haven Amsterdam) drafted by the City of Amsterdam indicates that the Port of Amsterdam would need to share its responsibilities and interests with partners in order to effectively intensify cooperation.

Safeguard public interests

Corporatisation is based on the notion that all activities, company divisions and associated risks would be transferred to NV Haven Amsterdam. All shares in the company would initially be owned by the City of Amsterdam. Regional municipalities, provinces, the state and other port companies would eventually be able to become involved in the organisation by investing capital or offering land.

Following corporatisation, the Port of Amsterdam would remain responsible for carrying out a range of tasks within the public sector such as nautical responsibilities and managing/maintaining the public spaces at Westpoort.

Strengthen the regional economy

In 2009, the Port of Amsterdam became Europe’s fourth largest port. The 2008 Port Monitor (Havenmonitor), conducted by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, indicated the importance of the Port for Amsterdam for the city and the surrounding region.

Activities in the North Sea Canal Area contribute 7.5 billion euros annually to the regional and national economies. In 2008, the area provided employment to nearly 65,000 people with nearly 35,000 of these jobs being directly linked to the Port of Amsterdam.

Sustainable hinterland strategy

The Port of Amsterdam is committed to sustainable growth, focusing on innovation and intensifying space usage. The new hinterland strategy outlines the Port of Amsterdam’s plans to implement combined traffic flows that will see increased transport over the water and rail networks to help ease congestion. The development of strategic cooperation as a limited liability company is required in order to successfully move forward with these aims.

Terrain and designated usage

The terrain managed by the Port of Amsterdam is part of Westpoort and has been designated for use as a port. The City of Amsterdam will retain the authority to determine the use of this terrain. Agreements have been made that allow for the designated use of the port area to be altered, for example for housing, offices, infrastructure and other functions.

Administrative process

On 28 October 2009, the Amsterdam City Council decided to begin research into whether it would be desirable and feasible to corporatise the Port of Amsterdam. The council committee plans to discuss the College’s recent proposal on 13 April, as does the City Council on 11 May. The final decision is expected to be reached after this date.

City of Amsterdam Press Office, 16 March 2011