BILK terminal Budapest needs new design to handle new cargo flows

Image: Flickr Istvan Nagy

Rail Cargo Terminal has asked Hamburg Port Consulting (HPC) to come up with a development design for its BILK terminal in Budapest. An increase in volumes from Eurasian traffic as well as higher proportions of non-stackable cargo from continental traffic have led to new challenges, to which the terminal must adapt, according to the consultancy firm.

HPC, which has a vast experience in the development of intermodal terminals, has already put forward operational development design plans for the Budapesti Intermodális Logisztikai Központ (BILK) terminal. Terminal efficiency and capacity could be improved, it says.

The design plan

HPC assessed the current terminal capacity (tracks, lift, yard, gate) and carried out a sensitivity analysis of comprehensive planning parameters – such as a reduction in unit dwell times and train turnarounds, as well as changes in modal unit volume splits and traffic types.

In addition, the company studied the effects of faster gate procedures and a reduction of gate peaks using technology solutions such as pre-announcement, optical character recognition (OCR) and self-check-in.
HPC said particular emphasis has been placed on safety issues, as significant increases in annual volumes put stress on current operational processes, resulting in a negative effect on work safety due to limited space availability.

Changing demands

The terminal is operated by RailCargo Terminal, which is part of RailCargo Group. “We manage maritime, continental and Eurasian traffic at the same time at the terminal and want to ensure that all of this traffic, with its different characteristics, can be handled flexibly, yet punctually and reliably”, explains Attila Czöndör, CEO of the terminal.

“We have realised the changing demands of our customers and are actively working on solutions together with our partners. In asking HPC to carry out this work, we wish to take further advantage of Budapest terminal’s unique location.”

BILK terminal

BILK is one of Hungary’s biggest intermodal logistics hubs, with a total throughput of 230,000 TEU in 2021.The terminal is one of the main hubs of Rail Cargo Group for intermodal traffic with regular connections to European ports – such as Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Koper, Piräus, Rijeka, and rail terminals in Neuss, Wels, Wien, and Brno, among others.

BILK mainly handles maritime containers, although the demand for handling trailers and other continental traffic is increasing. This year, the terminal received the first direct China-Hungary train, with the original departure beingShijiazhuang International Dry Port in Hebei province. This service commenced on 15 July 2022.

RailFreight on Tour Debrecen

Do you want to learn more about Budapest and its position on the rail freight map? Join us at the RailFreight on Tour in Debrecen, Hungary, to be held on 19 & 20 October this year. The connection of Hungary with European hubs will be among the topics discussed, and RailCargo Group among the companies on stage.

You can find the programme of this event here, and you can register here.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

Add your comment

characters remaining.

Log in through one of the following social media partners to comment.