When you think of Port, don’t quickly think of Meppel. The truth is different. Zwolle will be named the fourth economic region of the Netherlands in 2030 and the port will play an important role in this. With huge transshipment companies, large factories and daily flow of full container ships, it is a major logistics center in Drenthe. The municipality of Meppel and the port company Port of Zwolle are committed to growth: the port can extend to 30 hectares.
This has been thoroughly investigated in recent months. The municipality hopes to present the report sometime in the coming weeks, before the municipal elections. But she is now looking at land belonging to the neighbours’ Stavhurst municipality.
Maple Port is teeming with containers. Each container has a unique license plate and speaks volumes about its origin: it comes from all over the world. However, port personnel point out a few empty spaces. The rows of containers could be wider, but it’s been Chinese New Year in recent weeks. And then the trade from China will come to a complete standstill.” So it could be busier.
Ships sail daily between Maple and the deep sea ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp. Both are important: Rotterdam is carried to ships to the Far East, and Antwerp has traditionally been the port of Africa. Every day a ship with a hundred containers of Maple departs and the same number returns.
Port employees know regular customers. Retail companies like Action and Blokker get large containers of store inventory from Asia. Raw materials for food products are also brought in from all over the world. For example, containers with baby food from many factories in the region go the other way.
Maple is sold out
Next to the container terminal are other companies such as marinas, transshipment companies and an asphalt plant. A large feed and fertilizer manufacturer brings many raw materials to Maple by boat. ONE PIECE STILL COMFORTABLE: It just sold out. The very last. That’s the crux of the matter: Maple is full and for a good economy you need to consider expansion, says alderman who specializes in economics Henk Ten Hölcher.
“The port is very important to us as a maple,” he says. “We work with the ports in Zwolle and Kampen under the name ‘Port of Zwolle’. Together we have an economic value of €500 million. At Meppel we don’t always realize that this is a lot. Expansion is necessary, we can do otherwise.”
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