November 15 - The Cosco Shipping Company Limited (COSCOL) and the Port of Rotterdam Authority (PoR) are jointly going to promote and raise the handling of steel and heavy lift cargo via the port of Rotterdam.

COSCOL COO Guo Jing and PoR CEO Hans Smits signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the goal of more than doubling the number of Rotterdam calls of COSCOL's multipurpose vessels in 2011 to approximately 24. PoR says that its goal is to become the leading European import port for the handling of (semi-) finished steel products and a leading European export port for finished steel products and heavy lift and project cargoes.

COSCOL is currently renewing and extending its fleet of heavy lift and multipurpose ships with newly built and bigger ships and has the intention to substantially increase its breakbulk liner capacity to and from North West Europe with 12-16 ships.

Rotterdam has to become a Northwest European focal point for COSCOL's China-NW Europe service. In 2009, the tweendecker multipurpose vessels of the shipping line made two calls in Rotterdam and in 2010 eleven.