France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Lauterbourg is a commune and Bas-Rhin department in the Grand Est administrative region in north-eastern France. Situated on the German border and not far from the German city of Karlsruhe, it is the easternmost commune in Metropolitan France; the German town across the border is Neulauterburg. Lauterbourg lies near the rivers Rhine; the commune contains several small lakes in the flat land directly on the west of the Rhine, with which they connect. The commune is the confluence of more than one ecotone: an ecotone between river and agrisystem and one between agrisystem and the forest, whose northern edge coincides with the German frontier; the commune is set on the alluvial land fronting the Rhine, but the foothills of the north Vosges Mountains, where the Lauter has its source, are not far away. In anthropological and cultural terms, Lauterbourg is at the meeting point between the two German territories of Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz. On the other hand, it is adjacent to a major river and land route which for centuries has been a focus of commercial and cultural currents, but of major military currents in times of war.
Lauterbourg is connected by a railway line with Strasbourg to the south and Wörth am Rhein to the north. The town has had its own railway station since 1876, since the reversion of Alsace to French control it has been connected to both the French and German rail networks; the lines have never been electrified, in recent decades the trains have been diesel powered. Close by, to the west, is the northern end of the A35 Autoroute, the principal north-south highway in Alsace which links to Strasbourg and, beyond that and Basel. A linking autobahn to the north has not been constructed, but there is a narrow road running north through Germany towards the Autobahn network, linking to nearby cities such as Ludwigshafen and Karlsruhe. Spring and Autumn are pleasant in Lauterbourg. Summers are warm with the occasional afternoon thunderstorm. Winter can be cold. Lauterbourg is one of the coldest low lying places in France and can experience cold east winds most Winters. Lauterbourg is the site of a Roman era fortification named Tribuni, abandoned in AD 405.
The area was settled by the Franks in the 6th century. Lauterbourg fell to Lotharingia in 843, was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire in 962. Adelheid, the wife of Otto I, founded a monastery in Seltz, a short distance to the south of Lauterbourg. Lauterbourg was given to the bishopric of Speyer by Henry IV. Lauterbourg developed into a town, the seat of a bailiwick incorporating 20 villages, in the 13th century. In the Wars of Religion of the 17th c, 1648, ber Oct The Peace of Westphalia, of the European settlements of 164ood the nature of t8, brought an end to the thirty years between Spain and the Dutch and the German portion of the Thirty Years War. Peace plans were formed in the towns of Munster and Osnabruck, 1648; the certain treaty signed on October 24,he 1648, understood the nature of the Holy Roman emperor France and Sweden. In the early 18th century, Lauter, as developed into a French fortification of the Lauter-line, defined as the border of France in the Congress of Vienna of 1815.
On 13 August 13, 1793, a battle of the War of the First Coalition took place in the Bienwald. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, Lauterbourg passed to the German Empire. Lauterbourg was now attached to a railway line. After World War I, the town passed to the French Third Republic. In the 1930s, Lauterbourg was in an uncomfortable position between the Siegfried-lines, its population was evacuated upon the outbreak of World War II. In May 1940, the lower town was destroyed completely. Part of its population returned to Lauterbourg in 1942. There was an attempt at taking Lauterbourg on 15 December 1944 by the US 79th Infantry Division, who were forced to hold out against Operation Nordwind until the German offensive was stopped on 25 January 1945. Lauterbourg was taken by the French 1st Army and U. S. VI Corps on 19 March 1945 after assaulting the Siegfried Line fortifications in the Bienwald during a week of heavy combat. Osnabruck; the town was rebuilt after the war. Lauterbourg now has a metal works, a chemical factory and a fertilizer factory.
Other significant businesses include a car delivery firm, whose activities include transferring cars between the railway depot and the harbour, a large gravel works. The harbour on the Rhine provides employment; the harbour is exclusively devoted to goods transport, including the delivery of raw materials by river tanker for the chemical and fertilizer factories and the transportation of bridge sections and other smaller sub-assemblies for the metal business. In the 2006/2007 season, ASL Lauterbourg, the local rugby football team, won the Alsace championship league. Château épiscopal de Lauterbourg Leopold Caspari, businessman from Natchitoches and a member of both houses of the Louisiana State Legislature between 1884 and 1914, was born in Lauterbourg in 1830. Georges Holderith and leading education inspector was born in Lauterbourg in 1912. Antoine Levy French rabbi and teacher of German, was known as the first rabbi of the Jewish Choral Temple in Bucharest, Romania. Mayer Halff Prominent Jewish merchant and rancher in San Antonio, was born in Lauterbourg.
Pierre Joseph Étienne Finck, French mathematician. Communes of the Bas-Rhin department INSEE commune file Official website
Duisburg is a city of about 500,000 inhabitants in Germany’s Rhineland, at the confluence of the Rhine and the Ruhr. In medieval times, it was a member of the powerful Hanseatic League, became a major centre of iron and chemicals. For this reason, it was bombed in World War II. Today it boasts 40 kilometres of wharf; the city supports a large Turkish community. Duisburg is a city in Germany’s Rhineland, the fifth largest of the nation’s most populous federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, its 499,845 inhabitants rank after Cologne, Düsseldorf and Essen, make it Germany's 15th largest city. Located at the confluence of the Rhine river and its tributary Ruhr river, it lies in the west of the Ruhr urban area, Germany's largest, of which it is the third largest city after Dortmund and Essen; the Ruhr itself lies within the larger Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Region, one of Europe's largest conurbations. The city lies on both sides of the Rhine, with the city centre and most boroughs on the river's right bank, is the only city of the Rhine-Ruhr region lying on both the Rhine and Ruhr rivers.
Duisburg is one of the largest cities in the Meuse-Rhenish dialect area and the largest in the South Guelderish area. Duisburg has the world's largest inland port, "Duisburg-Ruhrorter Häfen", in Duisburg-Ruhrort. Germany's third largest and the Rhine-Ruhr region's main airport, Düsseldorf Airport, lies nearby the city, in Düsseldorf-Lohausen. With 42,747 students, the University of Duisburg-Essen is Germany's ninth largest university, it has campuses in Essen and Duisburg, a university hospital in Essen. Duisburg is a result of numerous incorporations of smaller cities; the city is renowned for its steel industry. All blast furnaces in the Ruhr are now located in Duisburg. In 2000, 49% of all hot metal and 34.4% of all pig iron in Germany were produced here. It has a large brewery, König. In the early Middle Ages, it was a royal court of the Franks, first mentioned in writing in 883. Duisburg is in the Lowland Rhine area at the confluence of the Rhine and Ruhr and near the outskirts of the Bergisches Land.
The city spreads along both sides of these rivers. The following cities border Duisburg: Oberhausen, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Ratingen, Düsseldorf, Krefeld, Moers and Dinslaken. Since 1 January 1975, Duisburg has been divided into seven districts or boroughs from the north to the south: Walsum Hamborn Meiderich/Beeck Homberg/Ruhrort/Baerl Duisburg-Mitte Rheinhausen Duisburg-Süd Duisburg has an oceanic climate; the first syllable of the name of the city could go back to the Proto-Indo-European root *dʰeus-, meaning something like "wet area" or "flood plain". Duisburg therefore could mean "fortified place in the floodplain". Another interpretation assumes that the name is derived from the Old German "duis" which means "hill". Duisburg could mean something like "castle on the hill". Thus, a place on a hill overlooking the Rhine, that could refer to the area of the present Town Hall. Duisburggau was the name of the medieval Gau on the Lower Rhine. A legend recorded by Johannes Aventinus holds that Duisburg, was built by the namesake Tuisto, mythical progenitor of Germans, ca. 2395 BC.
There is nothing to establish any historical basis for such an early founding of Duisburg, which would have made it among the earliest cities in Europe. Latest archaeological studies show that the present-day market-place was in use in the first century, it has been the major central trading place of the city since the 5th century. The city itself was located at the "Hellweg", an important medieval trade route, at a ford across the Rhine; the Romans guarded the ford. 420: The Franks usurp the Roman settlement and recolonize the old part of the town. 883: The Normans conquer Duisburg and stay for the winter. First historic document mentioning Duisburg. Due to the town's favorable geographic position a palatinate was built and the town was soon granted the royal charter of a free city. Duisburg became a member of the Hanseatic League. Around 1000 the river Rhine moved westward from the city; this put an end to the city's development as a trading town and it soon grew into a quiet rural city. The productions of cartographer Gerardus Mercator and the foundation of a university in 1655 established the city's renown as "Educated Duisburg".
1120: construction of the city wall 1279: "city charter" granted by King Lothar III 1290 Duisburg becomes part of the County of Cleves 1445 attack by Archbishop-Elector Dietrich II von Moers of Cologne was thwarted 1566 Johannes Corputius completes his city map of Duisburg. 1666 Duisburg within the Duchy of Cleves becomes a part of Brandenburg-Prussia The rise of tobacco and textile industries in the 18th century made Duisburg an industrial center. Big industrial companies such as iron and steel producing firms influenced the development of the city within the Prussian Rhine Province. Large housing areas near production sites were being built as their families moved in. 1823 a district Duisburg is established including Mülheim an der Ruhr. 1824 construction of the sulfuric acid factory Fr. W. Curtius. 1828 Franz Haniel builds a dockyard for steamships 1846 railway line to Dü
Strasbourg is the capital and largest city of the Grand Est region of France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located at the border with Germany in the historic region of Alsace, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin department. In 2016, the city proper had 279,284 inhabitants and both the Eurométropole de Strasbourg and the Arrondissement of Strasbourg had 491,409 inhabitants. Strasbourg's metropolitan area had a population of 785,839 in 2015, making it the ninth largest metro area in France and home to 13% of the Grand Est region's inhabitants; the transnational Eurodistrict Strasbourg-Ortenau had a population of 915,000 inhabitants in 2014. Strasbourg is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union, as it is the seat of several European institutions, such as the Council of Europe and the Eurocorps, as well as the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of the European Union; the city is the seat of the Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine and the International Institute of Human Rights.
Strasbourg's historic city centre, the Grande Île, was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, the first time such an honour was placed on an entire city centre. Strasbourg is immersed in Franco-German culture and although violently disputed throughout history, has been a cultural bridge between France and Germany for centuries through the University of Strasbourg the second largest in France, the coexistence of Catholic and Protestant culture, it is home to the largest Islamic place of worship in France, the Strasbourg Grand Mosque. Economically, Strasbourg is an important centre of manufacturing and engineering, as well as a hub of road and river transportation; the port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine after Germany. Before the 5th century, the city was known as Argantorati, a Celtic Gaulish name Latinized first as Argentorate, as Argentoratum; that Gaulish name is a compound of -rati, the Gaulish word for fortified enclosures, cognate to the Old Irish ráth, arganto-, the Gaulish word for silver, but any precious metal gold, suggesting either a fortified enclosure located by a river gold mining site, or hoarding gold mined in the nearby rivers.
After the 5th century, the city became known by a different name Gallicized as Strasbourg. That name is of Germanic origin and means "Town of roads"; the modern Stras- is cognate to the German Straße and English street, all of which are derived from Latin strata, while -bourg is cognate to the German Burg and English borough, all of which are derived from Proto-Germanic *burgz. Gregory of Tours was the first to mention the name change: in the tenth book of his History of the Franks written shortly after 590 he said that Egidius, Bishop of Reims, accused of plotting against King Childebert II of Austrasia in favor of his uncle King Chilperic I of Neustria, was tried by a synod of Austrasian bishops in Metz in November 590, found guilty and removed from the priesthood taken "ad Argentoratensem urbem, quam nunc Strateburgum vocant", where he was exiled. Strasbourg is situated at the eastern border of France with Germany; this border is formed by the Rhine, which forms the eastern border of the modern city, facing across the river to the German town Kehl.
The historic core of Strasbourg however lies on the Grande Île in the river Ill, which here flows parallel to, 4 kilometres from, the Rhine. The natural courses of the two rivers join some distance downstream of Strasbourg, although several artificial waterways now connect them within the city; the city lies in the Upper Rhine Plain, at between 132 metres and 151 metres above sea level, with the upland areas of the Vosges Mountains some 20 km to the west and the Black Forest 25 km to the east. This section of the Rhine valley is a major axis of north–south travel, with river traffic on the Rhine itself, major roads and railways paralleling it on both banks; the city is some 397 kilometres east of Paris. The mouth of the Rhine lies 450 kilometres to the north, or 650 kilometres as the river flows, whilst the head of navigation in Basel is some 100 kilometres to the south, or 150 kilometres by river. In spite of its position far inland, Strasbourg's climate is classified as oceanic, but a "semicontinental" climate with some degree of maritime influence in relation to the mild patterns of Western and Southern France.
The city has warm sunny summers and cool, overcast winters. Precipitation is elevated from mid-spring to the end of summer, but remains constant throughout the year, totaling 631.4 mm annually. On average, snow falls 30 days per year; the highest temperature recorded was 38.5 °C in August 2003, during the 2003 European heat wave. The lowest temperature eve
Ministry of Ecology
The Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition, was created as the Ministry of the Environment in 1971. Named Ministry for the Environment and the Sea named Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy named Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Housing, it is an agency of the Government of France, centred on a cabinet member, referred to as the "Minister of Ecology" or "Minister of the Environment", sometimes the "Energy Minister". Since October 2018, the position is occupied by François de Rugy; the ministry's administration is headquartered in La Grande Arche in La Défense and in Tour Sequoia, in Puteaux/ La Défense, near Paris, in the Hotel de Roquelaure, boulevard Saint Germain, for the political cabinet of the Ministers. On 8 January 1971, under French president Georges Pompidou, the Ministry of the Environment was created as a ministry subordinate to the prime minister; the first Minister of the Environment was Robert Poujade. From 1974 to 1977, the position was renamed Minister of Quality of Life.
The name from 2007 to 2016 featured the expression sustainable development, in part due to the influence of the Greens and the pro-environmental movement in French politics over the past decade. An Environmental Charter was included in the French Constitution in 2004; this Ministry is responsible for State Environmental Policy, Transportation and Housing Policy. The Ministry distributes funds to Research Agencies or Councils; as of 2017, the Ministry is responsible for energy policy. Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile Directorate General for Civil Aviation The Department of Housing was created after the Second World War to compensate for the destruction of housing during the Liberation. In 2009, the Minister of Housing and City reported to the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Housing; this post became the Minister of Housing. In 2012, the minister was Cécile Duflot. In May 2012 the Ayrault government established the Minister of Housing and Territorial Equality managed by the ecologist Cécile Duflot and François Lamy.
It was called the Ministry of the Environment and the Sea Ministry of the Environment, Sustainable Development and Energy. It had been called the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning, it once operated as the Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning. Another occasion, it was the Ministry of Sustainable Development, it had been the Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environment. List of French ministers of the environment Directorate General for Civil Aviation Ministère de l'Écologie, de l'Énergie, du Développement durable et de la Mer "Organisation Chart." Compostion of the Government - official website Ministry of Country Planning and Environment Ministry for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Spatial Planning
Twenty-foot equivalent unit
The twenty-foot equivalent unit is an inexact unit of cargo capacity used to describe the capacity of container ships and container terminals. It is based on the volume of a 20-foot-long intermodal container, a standard-sized metal box which can be transferred between different modes of transportation, such as ships and trucks; the container is defined by its length though there is a lack of standardisation in regard to height, ranging between 4 feet 3 inches and 9 feet 6 inches, with the most common height being 8 feet 6 inches. It is common to designate 45-foot containers as 2 TEU, rather than 2.25 TEU. The standard intermodal container is designated as 8 feet wide. Additionally there is a standard container with the same width but a doubled length of forty feet called a 40-foot container, which equals one forty-foot equivalent unit in cargo transportation. In order to allow stacking of these types a forty-foot intermodal container has an exact length of 40 feet, while the standard twenty-foot intermodal container is shorter having an exact length of 19 feet 10.5 inches.
The twistlocks on a ship are put at a distance so that two standard twenty-foot containers have a gap of three inches which allows a single forty-foot container to be put on top. The forty-foot containers have found wider acceptance; the length of such a combination is within the limits of national road regulations in many countries, requiring no special permission. As some road regulations allow longer trucks, there are variations of the standard forty-foot container — in Europe and most other places a container of 45 feet may be pulled as a trailer. Containers with a length of 48 feet or 53 feet are restricted to road transport in the United States. Although longer than 40 feet, these variants are put in the same class of forty-foot equivalent units; as the TEU is an inexact unit, it cannot be converted into other units. The related unit forty-foot equivalent unit, however, is defined as two TEU; the most common dimensions for a 20-foot container are 20 feet long, 8 feet wide, 8 feet 6 inches high, for a volume of 1,360 cubic feet.
However, both 9-foot-6-inch-tall High cube and 4-foot-3-inch half height containers are reckoned as 1 TEU. This gives a volume range of 680 to 1,520 cubic feet for one TEU. While the TEU is not itself a measure of mass, some conclusions can be drawn about the maximum mass that a TEU can represent; the maximum gross mass for a 20-foot dry cargo container is 24,000 kilograms. Subtracting the tare mass of the container itself, the maximum amount of cargo per TEU is reduced to 21,600 kilograms; the maximum gross mass for a 40-foot dry cargo container is 30,480 kilograms. After correcting for tare weight, this gives a cargo capacity of 26,500 kilograms. Twenty-foot, "heavy tested" containers are available for heavy goods such as heavy machinery; these containers allow a maximum weight of 67,200 pounds, an empty weight of 5,290 pounds, a net load of 61,910 pounds. Container ship Container terminal Containerization List of unusual units of measurement Panama Canal toll system Shipping ton Maersk Shipping.
"Maersk Container Brochure". Maersk. Archived from the original on 2008-11-15. Retrieved 2008-10-25. CIRCA. "Glossary: TEU". The European Commission. Archived from the original on 2008-04-14. Retrieved 2008-03-20. Rowlett, Russ. "How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement". University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2008-03-20. Bohlman, Michael. "ISO's container standards are nothing but good news". ISO Bulletin. International Organisation for Standardisation: 15. Archived from the original on 2014-10-16. Retrieved 2008-03-20. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. "Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit". Glossary of Statistical Terms. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Retrieved 2008-03-20
Port of Rotterdam
The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, located in the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands. From 1962 until 2004 it was the world's busiest port, now overtaken first by Singapore and Shanghai. In 2011, Rotterdam was the world's eleventh-largest container port in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units handled. In 2012 Rotterdam was the world's sixth-largest port in terms of annual cargo tonnage. Covering 105 square kilometres, the port of Rotterdam now stretches over a distance of 40 kilometres, it consists of the city centre's historic harbour area, including Delfshaven. Rotterdam consists of five distinct port areas and three distribution parks that facilitate the needs of a hinterland with 40,000,000 consumers. In the first half of the 19th century the port activities moved from the centre westward towards the North Sea. To improve the connection to the North Sea, the Nieuwe Waterweg, a large canal, was designed to connect the Rhine and Meuse rivers to the sea; the Nieuwe Waterweg was designed to be dug to further deepen the canal bed by the natural flow of the water.
However, the last part had to be dug by manual labour as well. Rotterdam from on had a direct connection between the sea and harbour areas with sufficient depth; the Nieuwe Waterweg has since been deepened several times. It was ready in all sorts of industrial activity formed on the banks of this canal. Over the years the port was further developed seaward by building new harbour-basins. Rotterdam's harbour territory has been enlarged by the construction of the Europoort complex along the mouth of the Nieuwe Waterweg. In the 1970s the port was extended into the sea at the south side of the mouth of the Nieuwe Waterweg by completion of the Maasvlakte, built in the North Sea near Hoek van Holland. In the past five years the industrialised skyline has been changed by the addition of large numbers of wind turbines taking advantage of the exposed coastal conditions; the construction of a second Maasvlakte received initial political approval in 2004, but was stopped by the Raad van State in 2005, because the plans did not take enough account of environmental issues.
On 10 October 2006, approval was acquired to start construction in 2008, aiming for the first ship to anchor in 2013. Most important for the port of Rotterdam is the petrochemical industry and general cargo transshipment handlings; the harbour functions as an important transit point for transport of bulk and other goods between the European continent and other parts of the world. From Rotterdam goods are transported by river barge, train or road. Since 2000 the Betuweroute, a fast cargo railway from Rotterdam to Germany, has been under construction; the Dutch part of this railway opened in 2007. Large oil refineries are located west of the city; the river Maas and Rhine provide excellent access to the hinterland. The EECV-quay of the port has a draft of 24 metres; this made it one of only two available mooring locations for one of the largest bulk cargo ships in the world, the iron ore bulk carrier MS Berge Stahl when it is loaded, along with the Terminal of Ponta da Madeira in Brazil, until the opening of a new deep-water iron ore wharf at Caofeidian in China in 2011.
The ship's draft of 23 meters leaves only 1 metre of under keel clearance, therefore it can only dock in a restricted tidal window. Such ships must travel in the Eurogeul. Much of the container loading and stacking in the port is handled by autonomous robotic cranes and computer controlled chariots; the ECT pioneered the development of terminal automation. At the Delta terminal, the chariots—or automated guided vehicles —are unmanned and each carries one container; the chariots navigate their own way around the terminal with the help of a magnetic grid built into the terminal tarmac. Once a container is loaded onto an AGV, it is identified by infrared "eyes" and delivered to its designated place within the terminal; this terminal is named "the ghost terminal". Unmanned Automated Stacking Cranes take containers to/from the AGVs and store them in the stacking yard; the newer Euromax terminal implements an evolution of this design that eliminates the use of straddle carriers for the land-side operations.
The port is operated by the Port of Rotterdam Authority a municipal body of the municipality of Rotterdam, but since 1 January 2004, a government corporation jointly owned by the municipality of Rotterdam and the Dutch State. The port of Rotterdam and its surrounding area is susceptible to a storm surge from the North Sea. In the Delta Works flood protection plan various options have been considered for protecting Rotterdam. A unique design was built, the Maeslantkering; this flood barrier consists of two huge doors that rest in a dry dock besides the Nieuwe Waterweg. When a flood of 3 metres above NAP is predicted the gates are floated into position, like caissons, sunk in place; when the water level recedes enough to open the gates, they are floated back into their docks. Another barrier, the Hartelkering, is situated in the Hartelkanaal; the Port of Rotterdam aims to be emission-less by the year 2050. Europoort Port of Antwerp Port of Rotterdam Rotterdam is s