H&S Container Line shuttle links Port of Antwerp freight quays
A new freight shuttle has been introduced to link two quays at the Port of Antwerp of strategic importance to the emerging Rhine/Mosel region of Germany. It closes a gap whereby previously there was no open access train connections from Antwerp to the whole network between Duisburg and Strasbourg.
H&S Container Line is operating the train service as well as the terminal operations in Andernach, south east Germany, which will serve as hinterland hub for the local and regional deliveries. Andernach’s trimodal terminal is already connected to Antwerp and Rotterdam with a frequent barge service.
The complementary rail shuttle will now offer new opportunities especially for growing import flows to the Rhine & Mosel regions, and urgent deliveries from local industries to the seaport. It means that potentially thousands of lorry journeys will be removed from the highly congested roads of Belgium and Germany.
The Belgian government meanwhile is considering which locations at the port could be most suitable to meet the need for additional container capacity. It is embarking on a ‘complex projects’ procedures, in which companies and members of the public are involved in the search for alternatives, to meet growing customer demand.
Antwerp has shown the best performance overall of all ports in north west Europe for container traffic over the past few decades. It attributes this, in part, to its dense hinterland network link with the main European centres of industry and production. The port says that a move towards fewer players with larger ships means it is crucial for it to expand in such a way that it remains accessible to the deepsea shipping lines.
A crucial part of the process, it adds, is working in parallel with the Government to examine how logistical and industrial sites can be developed, and how the associated rail, road and water transportation can best connect with the main road network.