Port of Rotterdam
Rotterdam, home location of MTMC's 598th Transportation Group, is a prime entry point for cargo of all kinds into Europe. MTMC, the Department of Defense's freight shipper, is the prime shipping agent of perishable and nonperishable goods to military commissaries and post exchanges throughout Europe. The hub for those movements is Rotterdam. The Rotterdam American military community is in Capelle Aan Den Ijssel, which is a suburb on the eastern edge of Rotterdam, just north of the Ijssel river. The Rotterdam Admin Facility of the 598th Transportation Terminal Group is located 20 miles south of the Hague via autobahn 13, and 25 miles west of Utrecht via autobahn 12, and 40 miles south of Amsterdam.
Rotterdam is home to the 838th Transportation Battalion. The 838th commands and controls all military water terminals in Europe and the Mediterranean. Detachment OL-D, 7300 Material Squadron, US Air Force, Europe (USAFE), monitors all USAFE cargo within the Benelux region. Rotterdam is also home to the Military Sealift Command (MSC) office of the Benelux. This Navy office coordinates and controls all MSC shipping activity within NL, BE, GE and the Atlantic coast of France. Rotterdam is home to the ELG/Port Liaison Branch of AAFES Europe. This office coordinates the movement of AAFES cargo entering and exiting ports within Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.
There is no on-post housing. A total of 29 Government leased Army Family Housing units are near the installation. Private leased quarters are affordable and available if not occupied. The closest US Treatment Facilities are in Shape, Belgium and in Geilenkirchen, Germany, a three-hour drive. Main PX and Commissary shopping is done in Schinnen, Netherlands, a two-hour drive. Non-emergency dental care provided on site twice annually (spring and late fall) for active duty military and their dependents. For retirees and their dependents (both military and civilian) on space available only. During duty hours, the Dutch Military Dental Treatment Facility in Rotterdam, can be used for emergency care. The closest American Red Cross (ARC) is located in Schinnen (no after duty point of contact). The closest 24-hour ARC is located in Chievres, Belgium, a three-hour drive. Sick call for US service members (only) at local Dutch Military Installation. TRICARE and additional medical procedures are available for all military members and their dependents. Inexpensive civilian medical insurance is available for civil servants. The closest veterinary clinic is located at AFCENT (Allied Forces Central Europe) in Brunssum, Netherlands, a two-hour drive. No restrictions on dogs/cats. Fairly well stocked Shoppette, small library, Arts & Crafts located on site. Full size basketball court, racket ball court, weight room, aerobic machines, dry steam sauna, men and women's locker rooms are available on site.
Rotterdam is the world's biggest port. Of the 10,500 hectares of port area, some 4,800 hectares are earmarked for use as business premises. By optimizing the free space and the development of the north-western corner of the Maasvlakte, the RMPM expects to add another 125 to 140 hectares to the land available for letting. The most important activities of the port currently take place close to the North Sea, 40 kilometers from the center of Rotterdam. More than half the port's total transhipment takes place there on the Maasvlakte. Now, the port and industrial complex of Rotterdam is one of the most important petro-chemical centers in the world, along with Houston and Singapore.
Rotterdam was established in the second half of the 13th century as a fishing village. The Rotte tributary flowed into the bend in the river Meuze (Maas). It was here that the herring fishermen used to unload their catch. These fishermen were the first inhabitants of the town after a dyke was built to protect Schieland from the river. Rotterdam became a true town with municipal rights in 1328. Rotterdam gradually developed into a prosperous merchant port. In 1936, Shell opened a modest refinery in the port area. Following post-war expansion and accessibility for large vessels, a further four refineries were added around which a gigantic (petro)chemical industry developed. The first harbors were constructed between 1600 and 1620. In 1962, Rotterdam's cargo tonnage - 96 million tonnes - exceeded that of New York for the first time and the Dutch port became the biggest in the world. The portscape was gradually undergoing transformation when the container entered the scene in the mid-sixties. The first container ship arrived in Rotterdam on 5 May 1966:
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