Roy van den Berg

Intermodal transport specialist

In the media

Sometimes everything seems to come together in a rather short period of time. This is such a week in which I will be quite a bit in the media. Today, an interview was published in the e-magazine of The montly magazine asked me to tell something more about the work I am doing as project developer at SmartPort. Which I was happy to do, of course. To go to the interview (in Dutch) click here . But this is not all. NT Publishers (known from the weekly newspaper Nieuwsblad Transport) publishes the book I authored about synchromodal transport (in Dutch). To give some attention to the launch of this book NT Publishers webinar synchromodaal transport organised a webinar which can be viewed via this link . I am very excited about the launch of the book, after a year of work, and the webinar, which I have never done before. A great opportunity to promote the book and hopefully also get some first feedback. I am looking forward to this new and informative experience.

A hinterland strategy works

In my previous job at the Port of Rotterdam Authority I was, to a large extent, involved in the development and execution of Rotterdam's hinterland strategy. This strategy was aimed at increasing the share of intermodal transport (i.e. barge and rail instead of road) to become more competitive, accessible and sustainable as a port. However, despite all the effort it proved to be rather difficult to increase especially the share of rail transport.

As part of my PhD research I executed a case study about the hinterland strategy of the Port of Barcelona. Ever since, Barcelona is my second favorite port and I followed the hinterland development of the Port of Barcelona with great interest. The Port of Barcelona Authority proved that a strategy which includes a strong focus on the hinterland can pay off. The results they have published in their annual reports throughout the years shows that they have been able to substantially increase the share of rail transport. The share of rail transport increased from 2.6% in 2007 to 12.5% in 2016, which is a great achievement. The table below provides more details on how they have progressed over the years. The investments they have made in the inland terminal in Zaragosa has been instrumental to create a network with connections to other regions in Spain.

Throughput statistics Port of Barcelona

For the years to come, I will continue to follow the developments at the Port of Barcelona with great interest because the difficult years for further increase of the share of rail transport are still to come. I am very curious if they will manage to realise a share of 15% or more.

Start in 2016, focus in 2017

Starting to stand on your own feet is always exciting, whether it is privite or business. My first year as consultant has been a really nice ride. Not only have I been able to apply my intermodal transport knowledge and expertise for multiple customers, I also got the opportunity to share my knowledge through lectures, presentations and a confrence chair at different lo Portfolio Roy van den Berg 2016 cations and settings.*

Slowly it is becoming clear what my core business is. Right now my business card doesn´t show any job description or whatsoever. But I think that the next print of business cards will include: advisory, business & knowledge development. Let's see if that will fit with the things I will be doing in 2017.

* The figure includes most of the organisations I worked with in 2016. On the left side the organisations which I helped with research and advisory, project development, supervision  or supported in other ways. On the right side the organisations for which I gave presentations, lectures, etc.

Frequently invited speaker

The month of June has been quite busy with presentations, and it is not over yet. Although I already have a lot of experience with giving presentations on behalf of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, it always remains a nice challange to give an interesting presentation. This month started with my first lecture ever of three hours at the RSM Erasmus University to be given to 40 supply chain management master students. Upfront, I questioned if I would be able to speak for so long about intermodal hinterland transport. But to my suprise time flew and it was a very intereactive session with many interested students. The next presentation was at one of the most modern container terminals in the world: APMT2 at the Maasvlakte. An international group of MBA students from TIAS were visiting the Port of Rotterdam to see Europe´s largest maritime gateway. Of course this needed to be accompanied with a presentation about the port, which I provided. On the 23rd of June I was invited as an expert on intermodal transport to speak at the yearly conference of the United Nations for logistics service providers in Asia, this year held in Jakarta. Their main interest was to get a better understanding of what synchromodal transport is all about. Although it isn't practised in Asia yet, there was a lot of interest in this topic. The day before I my presentation, I visited the fairly new Cikarang Dry Port in the vicinity of Jakarta and based on what I have seen from this inland terminal I am sure that it will be only a matter of time before synchromodal transport is offered in Indonisia as well. On the first of July I will continue my series of presentations as I will be speaking to the employees of Finance Ideas about the Port of Rotterdam during their company outing in Rotterdam.

Workshop Business Model Innovation

Today, I facilitated a workshop about business model innovation for the first time. As I am eager to do different things and lear from that experience, this was definitly something that fits in this aim. I organized this workshop for a company active in the dance festival industry in the Netherlands. Although they have acquired a strong position in the area where they are located, they struggle on how to overcome the risks related to the volitile number of visitors. Through the use of the business model canvas we were able to describe their current business model. And after outlining the main customer segments and their needs, we were able to develop some new ideas for their business model. Working with the business modal canvas gave them valuable insights on aspects which could be adjusted in order to service and maintain their customers even better. The participants of the workshop indicated that it was "very inspiring" and that it provided food for thought. This also holds for me. It was amazing to experience that by using the business model canvas you are able to have a good discussion on the core elements of a specific business. Furthermore, it is relatively easy to get an idea of the elements which can be improved. All in all, it was a very inspiring afternoon in Rotterdam which is definitly something I would like to do more often.

Previous blogs

The first blog I wrote was about making a shift from transport by road to rail or inland waterways. This is the so-called modal shift. The blog, published in Dutch in April 2013, can be found at

Another blog that has been published at (in Dutch, July 2013) discusses the difficulty of starting new train shuttles and how this can be addressed. The blog can be found here .

Transparency within container transport is becoming more and more important. The blog shows that the first steps are taken to increase transparency. If logistics service providers won't follow they might have a serious problem in the future. The blog has been published on the website (in Dutch) in October 2013. Click here to read the blog.