New intermodal terminal opens in Calais next week

Cargobeamer technology

Cargobeamer is opening its first terminal in Calais next week, on Wednesday 16 June. The terminal will enable the loading of uncranable semi-trailers on the train. The first train will depart in the direction of Perpignan that same day. This was announced by the company’s CEO during the RailFreight Networking Days this week.

The terminal is the first of Cargobeamer that runs entirely on its own technical loading concept. This concept enables semi-trailers of all types to be lifted on a train. Cargobeamer already applies the technology outside of its own terminal. But by having its own terminal, the process becomes more efficient. It can handle 6 to 12 trains per day, in a much faster way than with conventional loading techniques, said Hans-Jürgen Weidemann.

Connecting the dots

The site in northern France aims to serve as an international logistics hub, connecting intermodal transports from the British Isles with southern and eastern Europe. The new line Calais-Perpignan is the first to tap into this potential, but certainly not the last. As soon as the last quarter of this year, another service is planned to the Italian hub of Domodossola. Next year, Cargobeamer is planning to launch the line Calais-Poznan. As such, it is gradually connecting the dots of its existing network.

Apart from new rail freight lines, Cargobeamer also has big plans for its terminal network, the CEO explained. By the end of this year, it will start constructing its own terminal in Kaldenkirchen and Domodossola. Both will be equipped with its loading technology, “in order to form a network of terminals that enable loading of uncranable trailers”, Weidemann explained. These terminals are expected to be completed in 2022, with a capacity to handle 1,000 semi-trailers each per day.

Network of terminals

CargoBeamer plans to build a network of terminals based on its technology. By 2030, it wants to have more than 20 terminals across Europe. The terminals will be connected to each other, and to other destinations. The choice for Calais as the first terminal to be realised was mostly political, Weidemann said. “We received a lot of support from the municipality and the people involved.”

Currently, the network of Cargobeamer consists of Calais, Perpignan, Duisburg, Domodossola, Kaldenkichen and Poznan. “Duisburg is a partner city”, said Weidemann. Although it is very close to Kaldenkichen, which is “a German city on the border with the Netherlands at a very interesting logistics region”, it is not unthinkable that also in Duisburg you can find a Cargobeamer terminal in a few years, the company chief concluded. “We do need two or three additional terminals in that region to increase capacity.”

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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