2016 April 28 15:04
Together with the railway sector, industry and port users, Railport aims to make distributed transport play a central role in rail transport once more. Distributed transport (i.e. transport of individual wagonloads to different destinations) is essential for the chemical industry and other crucial freight flows such as steel.
Every day hundreds of individual wagonloads are carried between Antwerp North marshalling yard on the one hand and the various companies and rail fans in the port area on the other.
Railport is now setting up a pilot project in order to test the practical advantages of having a specialised, neutral port rail operator. This port rail operator will be at the service of all rail operators and local companies, to organise distributed transport in the port of Antwerp. Instead of each rail company having to do its own marshalling and transfer of goods wagons to the port companies and terminals, the port rail operator will do it for them.
Marshalling rail wagons in the port area requires highly specialised equipment and personnel, which means that large additional costs are frequently involved.
After an extensive selection procedure, Railport has chosen B-Logistics as its partner to carry out this pilot project. B-Logistics will make its transport network inside the port available to other rail operators. In the meantime together with Railport it will look for other improvements that can be made to meet the requirements of customers. Other rail companies, Infrabel (the Belgian track operator), local industry and port companies will all be actively involved as well.
The pilot project will effectively start in April, in a limited area of the port on the Right bank of the Scheldt, and will run for two years. An assessment of the experience will then be made and a decision taken on whether to extend the project to other parts of the port.
Railport Antwerpen NV is a joint initiative by Antwerp Port Authority, the Left Bank Development Corporation, essenscia (association of the chemicals, plastics and life sciences sector) and Alfaport (platform of and for companies and industry federations in the port of Antwerp within VOKA Antwerp-Waasland Chamber of Commerce).