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René de Vries was appointed (State) Harbour Master of Rotterdam on 1 March 2010. He began his career with the Port Authority in 1982, as crew member on one of the patrol vessels. Through the years, he has progressed to his last position, as manager of the Traffic Planning & Operations department, which has 220 staff.
As (State) Harbour Master, he is responsible for the fast, safe and clean handling of shipping traffic in the Port of Rotterdam. Under his direction, around 550 people work, among other things, in traffic control centres, the Port Coordination Centre, bridges and locks, on patrol vessels and as inspectors on board visiting ships. On one hand, the (State) Harbour Master forms part of the Port of Rotterdam Authority and, on the other, is accountable to the Municipal Executive and the Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management with respect to his public duties. The Harbour Master is also port security officer and forms part of Rotterdam’s major security staff.