• 2014 May 6 18:21

    Port of Antwerp adds second loop to Premium Barge Service

    A second loop will be added to the Premium Barge Service in the port of Antwerp in the course of this month. The new service offers shippers and logistics operators in the port area on the left bank a regular, reliable connection with the main deepsea container terminals. This will further streamline container movements within the port and reduce the amount of internal road transport, the Port Authority said in a press release.

    A call for project proposals was issued by the Port Authority in the summer of 2013, aimed at the extended port community. The aim was to provide sustainable connections between the terminals in the Waasland port (on the left bank, behind the Kallo lock), the tidal terminals on the Scheldt (left bank) and the port area on the right bank. From the various proposals submitted, the project “Premium Barge Service – loop 2” was selected. This project will receive start-up support from the Port Authority for a limited period of time.

    The operator of the Premium Barge Service is Antwerp Port Shuttle (APS), a joint venture between Van Uden (CEM), Euroports and Shipit; as such it is a continuation of the ABC collaborative arrangement. APS mainly concentrates on transport of containers within the port of Antwerp. APS contact details: +32 3561 02 46, planning@apsantwerp.be.

    The second loop now being introduced provides a daily connection between the Waasland port, the Scheldt terminals and the right bank port area. The strength of the concept lies in having a fixed, transparent schedule of barge operations with fixed time windows. Thanks to the regular scheduling of the Premium Barge Service, freight handlers can coordinate their terminal operations with the arrival of the barge, while the Harbourmaster’s office for its part can take the service into account in its lock scheduling so that the barges can pass through the locks as quickly as possible.

    Ease of access is of vital importance for the Antwerp Port Community in order to guarantee the port’s competitive position, and so is given highest priority. As part of this effort the Port Authority has drawn up the “Master Plan for Barge Transport” aimed at increasing the share of barge in the modal split for container transport from 36% in 2013 to 42% in 2030. One of the areas covered by the Master Plan is to ensure efficiency of internal movements within the port and to further streamline internal distribution, for the benefit of the barge sector. It was against this background that the Premium Barge Service was introduced in 2010. The first loop departs daily from the Scheldt terminals to the Deurganck dock on the left bank and the Delwaide dock on the right bank. In view of the success of this service, a second loop is now being introduced to further improve access on the left bank.


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