First stone laid for new Metrans terminal in Hungary
The first foundations have been laid for a new Metrans terminal in the Hungarian town of Zalaegerszeg. On Thursday 9 September, construction of the new hub officially started. The terminal is located on the transport axis to the Adriatic ports of Trieste, Koper and Rijeka. Metrans invests around 40 million euros in the project, supported by funding from the Hungarian government.
“This will be a hub for transport services along the Adriatic Corridor and towards Southern and South-Eastern Europe”, says the HHLA intermodal subsidiary. The company has had its eyes on Hungary for a while. The first trains are to be handled at the facility in 2023.
Potential of Hungary
Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board: “We see strategic potential in the Zalaegerszeg location for the expansion of transport services to the Adriatic and to Southern and South-Eastern Europe. The new hub terminal will ensure that Hungary can strengthen its position as a logistics hub in the heart of Europe. The outstanding collaboration with various Hungarian authorities was an example of successful pan-European collaboration.”
Peter Kiss, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Metrans Group: “There won’t just be a Metrans hub terminal in Zalaegerszeg – it will also be a central point for the entire European rail freight transport. Our investment shows how important Hungary is for the further development of the Metrans intermodal network.”
First stone laid
Titzrath and Kiss laid together with the Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, Member of Parliament László Vígh and Zalaegerszeg’s mayor Zoltán Balaicz the foundation stone for the new terminal. It resembles the cooperation between the parties.The total investment of over 40 million euros includes a grant from Hungarian institutions amounting to approximately 11 million euros. Around 120 new jobs will be created in Zalaegerszeg.
The volume of containers transported by rail in Hungary has grown continuously in recent years. Metrans has benefited from this, especially through the hub terminal in Budapest, which started operating in 2017. In the first year, around 250,000 standard containers (TEU) were handled at the facility, this increased to more than 425,000 TEU in 2020.
Regular block trains operated by Metrans connect Hungary, via Budapest and the Slovakian city of Dunajska Streda, to the North Sea ports of Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam as well as to Duisburg, and the Adriatic ports of Trieste and Koper.
The European intermodal network of Metrans now comprises 17 of its own and other associated terminals. This network is an important part of the New Silk Road. Metrans handled 913 trains in 2020 (2019: 426 trains) that originated in or were destined for China. This is an increase of 114 per cent, with a corresponding transport volume of approximately 30,000 TEU.