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Rotterdam is the world’s 11th biggest port and, by far, the undisputed European champion, as a global maritime hub, but also as a large scale industrial complex. By general recognition, the Netherlands, the gateway to Europe, is at the forefront of innovation in transport and logistics. The country’s shipping policy offers companies one of the most attractive business environments in Europe, successfully challenging all traditional shipping centers. Erasmus, Rotterdam’s own university, is at the very center of all this, distilling the country’s knowledge infrastructure in its MSc Course in Maritime Economics and Logistics (MEL); a post-graduate/post-experience international programme aimed at transforming promising young professionals into tomorrow’s leaders in business and government. And already for 550 of our alumni this has proven to be true.

Academic Director

The programme prepares experts with modern economic and management tools for efficient decision-making, providing them at the same time with methods; concepts; and theories to enable them to understand and analyse, in a holistic and multidisciplinary way, the complexities of global maritime supply chains. In this way, MEL graduates are expected to be able to act and decide, with managerial style and determination, under complex and uncertain conditions, in a global economic and social environment.

The emphasis of our courses is on fundamental industrial, economic, and management concepts and methods, of lasting effect, that can be used to explain business practices on the one hand, and policy making processes on the other. To this end, a combination of theory and practice is required. The more conceptual matters are dealt with by University staff while practical aspects are discussed by our partners, such as Maersk Line; Port of Rotterdam; Europe Container Terminals (ECT); BIMCO; DVB Bank; TBA, Rabobank, Stolt Tankers, APMT etc.

With students coming from all over the world; more than 50 academic and professional staff from the Erasmus Faculties of Economics and Business Administration; industry partners; visiting professors; and an extensive corporate network, the MEL Programme at the Erasmus University Rotterdam is a spearhead in the Netherlands’ maritime cluster and an ambassador of the Nation’s leading role in maritime and port related logistics affairs.

MEL is the only course of its kind that combines, in a holistic way, shipping, ports, terminal management, and maritime logistics in the academic environment of two of Europe’s top Schools: The Erasmus School of Economics and Rotterdam School of Management. Along with academic excellence, MEL strives to achieve a fine balance between theory and practice. This is assured by the selection of our partners and the involvement of our Corporate Network. Through guest lectures, seminars and company visits, MEL students are continuously confronted with the preconceptions of ‘conventional wisdom’ and learn how to place them in their proper and wider economic perspective.

In addition, our extensive Corporate Network enables MEL students to seek employment opportunities in the most prestigious ‘blue chip’ organisations and, in some cases, take advantage of their infrastructure and information systems while writing their thesis.

The University’s long tradition in transport studies started with the work on shipping and shipbuilding by our late colleague, Professor Jan Tinbergen, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics. This tradition continues nowadays through the PhD programmes in transport and logistics at the Tinbergen Institute, the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), and the Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics (TRAIL) Research Schools. Thus, cutting-edge research, often externally funded, finds its way to the classroom in a top-down manner. Emphasis on applied research is based on our firm belief that, notwithstanding the importance of ‘research for the sake of research’, in a discipline as applied as transport and logistics the value of research is demonstrated by society’s willingness to underwrite it.

Rotterdam is a young dynamic international city, known for its culture and internationally-renowned architecture. In 2014 The New York Times placed Rotterdam in the top 10 of the 52 places in the world to visit. As the economic heart of the Netherlands, the largest port of Europe, and a vibrant city, Rotterdam is the ideal location to study Maritime Economics and Logistics.

I trust that this website answers your questions about MEL, and I look forward to welcoming you to Rotterdam and to our University.

Prof.dr. Bert de Groot
MEL Managing Director

Below, please find a delightful video about Rotterdam, which we hope will bring joyous memories to our alumni and ignite enthusiasm in future students giving them an idea of what’s to come.

Video Courtesy of Rotterdam Marketing

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