Hupac becomes operator of Novara CIM terminal

Hupac will take over the operations of the Novara CIM terminal in northern Italy starting on 18 October. The intermodal company will manage the terminal’s operations through Combiconnect, a subsidiary established for this purpose.

The deal between Combiconnect and Eurogateway, the terminal’s previous operator, was sealed on 15 September. With the acquisition, Hupac aims to develop intermodality in northern Italy and Switzerland even more. At the same time, it commits to investing in upgrading the terminal, which will continue operating with the existing personnel.

Taking over a hub

Novara is a hub in Hupac’s intermodal network for transalpine traffic. Situated in industrial northern Italy, it also serves as a consolidation point for Italian traffic flows. For example, it links to Bari and Pescara in the south of Italy and German cities as Hannover, Karlsruhe and Köln, apart from Rotterdam and Zeebrugge.

“Today Novara CIM handles over 60 train pairs a week, mostly from the operator Hupac Intermodal, on a 150,000 square metre facility equipped with seven loading and unloading tracks”, explained Piero Solcà, director terminal infrastructures at Hupac Group.

More investments

Nevertheless, acquiring the terminal’s operations did not seem enough for the company since it wants to invest more and upscale its services. “We aim to develop further this strategic terminal for modal shift of transalpine traffic. The investment plans are already in the drawer. They include the lengthening of the tracks from the current 600 metres to the European standard of 740 metres, new entry/exit tracks, gantry cranes and a sophisticated OCR system for the automatic reading of train and loading unit data,” continued Solcà.

Apart from that, the managing company Combiconnect has already ordered equipment that will be used in the terminal from 18 October onwards. The order includes two new cranes and three tractors.

Focus on terminals

Hupac’s focus on expanding its terminal network has been apparent throughout the year. Before taking over operations at the Novara CIM terminal, the intermodal company acquired a 4,16 per cent share at the WienCont terminal in Vienna back in August. “This participation is an important step in expanding the intermodal network, which will bring more traffic to the railways in the future and increase intermodal traffic volumes. Terminals are door openers for a shift to rail and support the green spirit”, emphasised back then Michail Stahlhut, CEO of Hupac.

On top of that, Hupac has started constructing a new terminal in Central Poland in April 2021. The new facility will be located In Brwinów near Warsaw. By autumn 2022, the operator will handle 740 metre long trains on four transhipment tracks at this centrally located facility. Simultaneously, it aims to start constructing another terminal, this time in Minsk, Belarus, to put the Eastern European country in the game of the New Silk Road more actively. Not only will it use it as a transit country, but it will also have a transhipment terminal there that will provide better and more efficient links with Eurasian routes.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Editor at RailFreight.com

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