Milan-Rotterdam service sees new expansion

The intermodal connection between Milan and Rotterdam will have three new weekly itineraries as of 12 January 2021. The two cities are already connected with daily trains seven times per week. Good cooperation and demand seem to be the main drivers of the expansion.

The new service which will be offered by Hannibal, a subsidiary multimodal operator of Contship Italia Group, will accept P400 semi-trailers. Additionally, it will run on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays every week.

Resiliency and stability

Since late 2017, the connection between Melzo(Milan) and Rotterdam has been characterised by the frequency of train trips. On September of that year, Hannibal introduced a seventh weekly route that would establish an uninterrupted daily link between the two destinations.

Almost a year ago, in February 2020, DistriRail also a subsidiary of Contship Italia Group, took the responsibility of the daily service between Melzo and the port of Rotterdam. Moreover, the service expanded with a link to Antwerp and other destinations in Italy. Notably, the service proved to be very stable during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, making, thus, the undisrupted transportation of fresh goods possible in a quite uncertain time.

Sea gateway

Regarding the latest developments, the train route will specifically connect Melzo and Rotterdam Botlek C.Ro terminal. Access in this terminal means that there is now an opportunity for customers to transport products overseas since there are daily short-sea services to and from the UK, as well multiple weekly sailings to and from Ireland, and Portugal.

Rotterdam is acquiring an increasingly central role in multimodal transportation that includes sea and rail. Following a recently launched service in which it plays a key role in linking the Czech Republic with Britain, the extension of the connection with Milan works as a reminder of the potential that the port has to function as a transportation hub.

Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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