Train with H.Essers livery

First direct rail freight service from Belgium to Trieste

Photo: H. Essers

A new direct rail freight line between Genk in Belgium and Trieste in Italy has been launched. The service is a cooperation between Lineas and logistics company H. Essers and is the first direct train connection from Belgium to the Italian hub.

The service includes two round trips per week, later on, this will be increased to three services per week. In Belgium, the trains depart from Euro Terminal Genk, near the headquarters of H.Essers. In Italy, they call on Samer Terminal Trieste. “The open train can transport both containers and trailers”, says Sam Bruynseels of Lineas Intermodal.

Synchromodal solution

From Triesye, H.Essers will forward the goods to Greece and Turkey by ship. Destinations are the Greek port of Patras and the ports of Istanbul, Pendik, Izmir and Mersin in Turkey. “That is not only a nice extension, but also an optimisation of our existing network. Moreover, this new route is a good example of a synchromodal solution where the goods travel as much as 90 per cent over the railway and water”, says Gert Bervoets, CEO of H.Essers.

On the new connection, as many safebox containers will be used as possible. This 45-foot container was developed by H.Essers for secured or cold chain transports, focusing on the company’s three strategic markets: chemicals, pharmaceuticals and high-value products. They are locked electronically and monitored 24/7 by a control tower, so that tje logistics company can intervene quickly when needed.

Temperature control

In addition, a part of the Safebox containers is equipped with temperature control. This makes it possible for the control tower to monitor the cooling units so that temperature-sensitive goods can be transported unaccompanied to Greece and Turkey.

Gert Bervoets: “We can transport almost all dangerous goods classes, including liquid bulk from tank container specialist Huktra, which was recently taken over by H.Essers.”


After the train connection that was set up in 2017 towards China, the international synchromodality network of H.Essers, the combination of freight transport by road, rail and water, will be further expanded. “With the new train and shipping connection to Greece and Turkey we get 9 thousand trips from the road every year”, explains Bervoets. “This is a sustainable solution, with which we meet the fast growing demand of our customers in that area.”

Sam Bruynseels of Lineas confirms: “With nine times less CO2 emissions, six times less energy consumption and eight times less air pollution, rail is an essential trump to make our transport sector climate-friendly and to tackle the increasing congestion problem. We must strive for this kind of synchromodality. “

Author: Majorie van Leijen

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

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