Image: courtesy EWS/Lineas

Lineas and EWS join forces to bust the wood bugs

A specialist ‘bug-busting’ treatment is ensuring that Lineas Intermodal’s wood-laden trains bound for China are arriving clean and customer-ready.

The Belgian rail freight operator has joined forces with eco-friendly pest control specialists EWS Group to open a new fumigation area for 40ft x 40ft rail containers at the Port of Antwerp’s MAINHUB terminal.

Quarantine

Using disinfecting gases, the method is used on thousands of wood logs as a necessary quarantine treatment. The facility has been set up at the MAINHUB rail terminal at Antwerp, and after treatment the containers can be transported directly via the Lineas Green Xpress Network to dozens of international destinations, or to the port’s left bank by the internal LORO rail shuttle service.

Lineas Intermodal says that as a volume business with relatively low value cargo, the logistics of these containers is a great challenge. Sam Bruynseels, Managing Director, said: “By extending our services we are able to keep our service level high for our intermodal clients. The creation of this fumigation area of the Maintub terminals responds to the needs of a large number of our customers.”

Concept

Michiel Verwerft, International Fumigation manager at EWS, added: “We believe this is a very strong logistic concept. We have to deal with growing congestion problems at different terminals and the planned road works at Antwerp Linkeroever in 2018 will also be a bottleneck for mobility in the Port of Antwerp. MAINHUB is strategically located at Antwerp Rechteroever and containers can be delivered by truck or by rail.”

Lineas CEO Geert Pauwels meanwhile has told a major European Internet of Things conference that the technology that makes autonomous rail possible represents the future of the rail freight sector. Speaking at Bosch Connected World 2018 in Berlin, he said: “Our GXN network is a huge step forward. But it’s not enough. That’s where the Internet of Things comes in. Let’s imagine Europe as a warehouse, with economic hubs connected through rail infrastructure and freight wagons as Alibaba robots that drive autonomously on the underused rail infrastructure.

Future

“We’ll always need train drivers, but we also believe in autonomous rail, not just for our company, but for a viable Europe. We need to create a new future for mobility, we need to modal shift. If we don’t we’ll all be stuck in traffic jams every single day of the rest of our lives,” he added.

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for RailFreight.com - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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