The specially painted container, handled by the ECT Delta terminal in Rotterdam, carries the legend “Where is this 10th mln container of Rotterdam going to?” Along with a number of other containers, the landmark 10 millionth container is part of a project shipment of 40,000 footballs bound for Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tanzania, Lebanon, Indonesia, the Palestinian territories, Ghana, and Benin in support of the “Right to Play” program.
Right to Play uses specially designed sport and play programs to improve health, build life skills, and foster peace for children and communities affected by war, poverty, and disease.
In its nearly 40-year run up to the 10 million-per-year mark, the Port of Rotterdam started by handling 117,000 TEUs in 1968. It reached the 1 million TEU mark in 1970, then it topped 5 million TEUs in 1997. The port projects that by 2020 it will handle 25 million TEUs per year.
Figures for 2006 indicated Rotterdam was the seventh largest container port globally. Only five ports surpassed 10 million TEUs that year. They included Singapore (24,792,400), Hong Kong (23,230,000), Shanghai (21,710,000), Shenzhen (18,468,900), and Busan (12,030,000). For reference, Los Angeles, the largest US container port, was number 10 with 8,469,853 TEUs handled in 2006.