Contargo stays in Valenciennes for 15 more years

Contargo Valenciennes

Contargo Northern France has won a European tender and will continue to operate the Ports de l’Escaut container terminal near Valenciennes in France. The new contract allows Contargo to exploit the facilities for the 15 years to come.

The company has been active in the location for seven years since 2015. It has undertaken two expansions in the terminal, one in 2017 and one last year. The terminal’s total capacity is 140,000 TEUs.

Focus on combined transport

Contargo commits to developing further the container terminal and multimodal transport activities with the contract extension. The terminal benefits from the growing transport via the waterways and will soon also offer combined transport via rail. Various investments are planned in the short term in transhipment facilities, including a new reach stacker and a second gantry crane. “We believe in the development potential of industry and logistics in this region and are delighted to continue operating the largest multimodal container terminal in Northern France,” said Gilbert Bredel, managing director of Contargo Northern France.

An interesting train-vessel collaboration

The specific terminal was the setting of an interesting collaboration along the New Silk Road last year. Specifically, last February, a combination of train and barge delivered a trainload of Chinese goods to Valenciennes. Approximately forty 40 ft containers arrived at the Contargo terminal for the first time. They had been shipped to Duisburg by train, where they were put on a vessel to continue the journey to the French city on the border with Belgium.

The journey took less than twenty days, of which the journey from Duisburg to Valenciennes took about 60 hours. Per seagoing vessel that had taken about twice as long. “With this first inland waterway transport between Duisburg and Valenciennes, the terminal Valenciennes will be included in the schedules of the New Silk Road. This opens up new possibilities for business in our region”, commented Bredel back then. Indeed such collaborations prove that combined transport terminals like the one in Valenciennes have much future potential since they embody sustainable transport.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

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

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