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Competition position and accessibility 'Randstad'

Netherlands Flag
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Network corridors
STRIA Roadmaps
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

This project deals with the development of a programmatic approach of the accessibility problems in the 'Randstad' (most dense area in the Western part of The Netherlands), in particular from the perspective of logistic nodes like Schiphol Airport or the Rotterdam port. Will these nodes still be successful in 15 or 20 years, or do they also feel the effects of economic life cycle? Is the main-port concept capable of dealing with developments in Europe, like demographic, socio-economic and land use changes?


The objectives of this project are: 

  1. Make operational the terms 'competition' and 'accessibility' for the Randstad area.
  2. To obtain an overview of all projects, initiatives and intended policies in the field of traffic and transport, that might affect the competition position and the accessibility of the Randstad area. 
  3. To assess the effectiveness of projects, intended policies and strategic visions in terms of contribution to the accessibility of the Randstad area.
  4. Setting up an administrative process. In order to avoid inconsistencies, the common goals must me made clear.



The objectives will be addressed per specific theme. In that way the coherence (or the absence of coherence) becomes clear. This insight offers a first step to strengthen the mutual knowledge-exchange. The results of the project are input for a Steering Group, who is setting up a Strategic Research Agenda for the new research Programme Transumo (Transition to Sustainable Mobility).


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Private foundation
Institution Name
Connekt foundation
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The relevant market for main ports may expend for two reasons: 

  • the catchment area expands 
  • volumes in the existing catchments areas are increasing Both mechanisms have been analysed.

The catchment area can be expended by improvement of the accessibility, especially in the proximity of the main ports. However, the existing national transport policy that is focussing more on national and regional accessibility problems is not in conformity with these findings.

Furthermore, a strong local economy is equally important for the competition position of the main ports as is improvement of the accessibility. It is therefore necessary that improvement of accessibility is accompanied with improvement of the settling climate for international business in the Randstad.

On the following points the position of the Netherlands can be enhanced:

  • Labour costs and productivity 
  • Schooling, education and the availability of high educated personal 
  • Innovation through application of R&D 
  • The number of international institutions 
  • Tourist profile 
  • Diversity of the economy.

These issues are the primary responsibilities of the regional and national governments.

Summarising the report further concludes that:

  • The Dutch main ports have become dependent of their economy in the direct neighbourhood, the Randstad.
  • This economy must be further developed by an integral policy to catch up with the competing regions. 
  • The miniport is limited in its powers to influence the current governing organisations 
  • With regard to the land-side accessibility Schiphol and Rotterdam have a number of interests in common when it comes to creating corridors via main roads to the east and south hinterland and improving the internal accessibility.
  • These interests do not meet the priority and timing of the Dutch government in the MIT.

Policy implications

Improving the general competition-profile of the Randstad will also give new economical impulses to the development of the main ports. Economic impulses linked with the airport should be aimed at improving the business- destination traffic.

That requires:

  • The settling of new international business in the Randstad. 
  • Improving and maintaining international organisations (a strategy that the government can influence to a large extent)
  • Tourism and congresses are important for generating transportation. Regarding the port of Rotterdam maintaining and improving the petrochemical sector is of great importance.

Furthermore there are opportunities regarding attracting new companies that can profit from the economies of scale and the logistical qualities of the port and industry of Rotterdam.

Examples are:

  • Logistical integration of agricultural activities in the Westland and the B-triangle with the main port facilities
  • Recycling industry
  • Concentrate knowledge intensive logistical activities in logistical platforms.

New initiatives in currently un-existing or just arising economical sectors or segments need to be investigated. An example of this is the question whether there is an adequate infrastructure in the Netherlands for low-cost airlines and what economical activities are attached to this rapidly growing sector.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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