Port of Rotterdam, Trade & Logistics

The Netherlands are the main gate to Europe, for transport as well as for logistics

In the port of Rotterdam and in the greater Rotterdam area (Rijnmond), logistics are the connecting factor. Every year, 400 million tons of goods on average change hands in the Port of Rotterdam, and approximately 10% of the Dutch labour force is working in this business sector. In other words, plenty to be done. After all, without logistics everything comes to a grinding halt.

The sector is faced with quite a few different challenges. Companies will need to respond to the ever changing financial market, fierce international competition, investments by foreign companies, for instance in the Port of Rotterdam area, and changing employment relationships.

Our DVAN port, trade & logistics desk is dedicated to the entire chain of companies who are engaged in the supply of goods and services passing through the Port of Rotterdam. Our clients are active players in the wide array of subsectors; the food sector, consumables and wholesale, both import and export; from waste transport to exceptional transport, from tank & silo transport to maritime container transport, from warehousing and handling to the inland shipping industry.

Our legal professionals will be happy to assist you on the following issues:

  • strategic issues (consolidation, succession, collaboration, company structure, acquisitions and financing)
  • conclusion of complex contracts (distribution, outsourcing and turnkey agreements)
  • HR issues (terms of employment, restructuring, pension, co-determination)
  • risk management (contract management, governance)

Should you have any queries, or would you like to exchange ideas on the developments in the market place and within your company? Please do not hesitate to contact us any time.



Our specialists have assisted a transhipment company in the Rotterdam area in setting up a joint venture operating an inland hub terminal, making sure that this terminal can serve as an ‘extended’ gate for a major Rotterdam-based container terminal operator and as an inland terminal for the nearby sea ports. The joint venture provides possibilities to handle containers through inland shipping, by rail and by truck, thus facilitating a sustainable congestion-free connection among the various regional hubs. This joint venture gives a perfect boost to the intensive collaboration between both companies that had been going on for a number of years already, and increases the potential for the current transhipment activities of the client almost tenfold.


Recently we have assisted one of our clients engaged in the business of operating ferry services, who wished to change from the use of bareboat charters to operation on the basis of time charters. At the request of our client, we have first mapped out what would be the consequences of such a change for jobs that might become redundant as a result. Subsequently, we have advised our client on the various aspects involved in possible redeployment of staff. Our specialists in employment law and co-determination have played an active role in the negotiations with the works council (OR). With their help, a solution was achieved that was acceptable to the Board as well as to the OR, so that imminent actions by staff and trade unions could be averted well in time.

Cross-border labour

What are my employment-law risks if I sign a construction contract with a company based abroad, while the work is carried out in the Netherlands?

This question was posed to us by a company in the Port of Rotterdam, which is engaged inter alia in the construction and repair of marine vessels. In this line of industry, doing business with foreign companies is a way of life. DVAN has provided the company with legal advice and has adjusted the construction contract in such a manner that the interests of the company are protected, should it be established that the foreign company fails to fulfil its employer  obligations under the WagwEU and the Dutch Foreign Nationals Employment Act (Wav).


'For the transfer of a majority set of shares in our family-run business Mooy Logistics to the Westland-based logistics colleague HZ Logistics, we asked Risto Larsson from DVAN Advocatuur & Notariaat to provide legal assistance. In this process that was of strategic importance to us, the collaboration with him and his team was both professional and pleasant. The personal commitment and valuable input of Risto, in combination with the extensive experience of the M&A team within the logistics sector, resulted in a successful transaction within a tight timetable.

To me, it was especially the combination of personal and professional that made the difference. Apart from Risto we received personal coaching from a Family consultant who was also very pleased with the approach. Since then, he even works together with Risto in other projects.'

Willem Zonnevijlle, owner of Mooy Logistics