Rapidly changing market dynamics present ports with major challenges. Port planning and development is no longer a long-term game. Product life cycles become shorter and circular, while industries are confronted with less determined futures. Ports within global supply chains are digital accelerators for efficiency and enablers of timely and reliable deliveries, instead of inevitable gateways where goods pass through. A mind shift is required to look critically at existing business models, while simultaneously developing new ones. Leading transitional change requires a different type of leadership. An executive in today’s port or port logistics industry should have ambidextrous leadership capabilities. Where issues are not perceived as dilemma’s, but as ‘both and’ considerations and solutions.

Become your future self

Discover the full overview of short courses

Woman in port executive leadership circle class

Learning objectives

The Port Executive Leadership Circle programme will:

  • inspire you and other participants by showing you the latest developments within the port industry. This includes visiting innovative and forward-looking activities around the Port of Rotterdam
  • document, analyse and begin to solve some of the wicked problems you and your organisation are working with
  • learn to use a leadership compass tool to tackle wicked problems
  • make a detailed assessment of your leadership capacities and deliver individual coaching directed at addressing your personal and/or port-related challenges
  • create a learning network around port excellence that connects you with an international network of industry peers
  • provide you with access to documented best practices to use in future.

Why you should join this programme

  • our approach to this leadership programme for port executives is different because it captures and makes use of the knowledge and expertise that exists within Rotterdam’s port, one of the world’s leading maritime capitals. It combines this with the latest insights into strategic leadership from RSM
  • the programme is tailored to participants’ unique learning goals because of the intensive and detailed admissions procedure
  • participants experience the purposeful combination of an issue-driven, case-based approach to leadership development
  • a week of coaching by experts in leadership training and port executive training to explore motives, risks and opportunities
  • learn best practices from leading port industry professionals while developing your strategic leadership skills
  • tackle your organisation’s wicked problem: learn and create innovative approaches for existing and potential issues for port industries
  • build a personal goal-setting plan for dealing with wicked problems; by considering your motives and potential actions, and how to mobilise the people involved to work with you. At the same time, inspire and be inspired by other participants
  • become part of an exclusive network of port executives and make use of a circle of continuous learning for the future.


Read what previous participants say about this programme

With more change, more leadership is needed. This programme covers the future challenges of ports, and the leadership traits you need to deal with. There was synergy between all participants at a strategic level, as everyone is part of port development and management business in various disciplines. This opened more discussion and debate channels that enriched sharing knowledge and experience.

Hilal Al Adawi, executive manager strategy affairs, Sohar Port and Freezone, Sultanate of Oman


Discover which expert faculty lead this programme

During the Port Executive Leadership Circle you will learn from Dr Hannes Leroy and Maurice Jansen. Occasionally we may substitute other faculty members according to the content of the programme and their availability.

Dr Hannes Leroy

Hannes Leroy is an associate professor at RSM, and academic director of the Erasmus Centre for Leadership. His expertise is in authentic and inclusive leadership, and how to develop it. His talent is  facilitating personal development by bringing people out of their comfort zones. He has published research on effective leadership in organisations, particularly on how to develop leaders. A particular interest is authenticity and the development of authentic leadership, a leadership style that is anchored in the unique identity of each leader. He taught at Johnson School of Business, Cornell University, and has a PhD in applied economics and organisational leadership from the University of Leuven in Belgium.

Mr. Maurice Jansen

Maurice Jansen is a senior researcher, lecturer and business developer. At the Erasmus Centre for Urban Port and Transport Economics, Maurice researches how ports and port-cities can be developed sustainably with economic and societal values in mind. He develops and provides education that teaches port, supply chain and transport professionals how to deal with wicked problems such as zero waste, carbon neutrality and digitization. Previously, he directed the MSc Shipping and Transport at the Netherlands Maritime University of Applied Sciences. He was also supply chain solutions developer at freight forwarding company UTi Worldwide, and transport consultant at KPMG Consulting. 

More information


Please contact our programme advisor Eugene Kerpen for more information.



€ 7,500 (excl. 21% VAT) including course materials, lunches, and snacks. This fee does not include hotel accommodation.

25% discount for alumni from Erasmus University Rotterdam and RSM.


General terms and conditions

Our general terms and conditions apply when you register for an open programme. Please review them to learn more about our policies for cancellation, deferral and substitution.


The programme takes place in the Bayle building on the Woudestein Campus of Erasmus University Rotterdam. 

Hotel accommodation

We recommend Novotel Rotterdam Brainpark Hotel, adjacent to the university and less than five minutes’ walk from campus. Participants benefit from special rates.

Port of Rotterdam

Global trends such as changes in international trade, energy transition & digitization require innovative solutions on how to make ports and organizations ready for the future. These challenges require staff with a deeper and more understanding of the complex dynamics of the port industry. Rotterdam is one of world’s leading maritime capitals. The port of Rotterdam is internationally often seen as one of the best practices for efficient and sustainable port development and socially responsible port management. The knowledge and expertise captured in Rotterdam’s port ecosystem is highly valuable for (future) experts and leaders in the (international) port industry.

Erasmus Centre for Urban, Port and Transport Economics

Erasmus Centre for Urban, Port and Transport Economics is a research and education company founded by Erasmus University Rotterdam. We provide government and industry with cutting-edge knowledge, international best practice advise and workable policy recommendations. At the core of Erasmus UPT's business are three main themes: cities and regions, ports and logistics, transport and mobility. Erasmus UPT's staff of experts has extensive international experience and a long tradition of 'making science work.' Through its education programs, Erasmus UPT aims to offer its students excellent education on topics and issues relating to Urban, Port and Transport Economics.

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