Metranas intermodal terminal in Prague, source: Metrans

METRANS connects Prague-Wilhelmshaven responding to congested ports

A new intermodal connection between the port of Wilhelmshaven in Northern Germany and the METRANS terminal in Prague will commence on 3 July. The operator, METRANS, aims to tackle the disruptions caused by congestion in other ports like Hamburg and Bremerhaven.

The new intermodal service will offer two weekly roundtrips, while METRANS underlined that the Prague terminal will function as a gateway linking the Wilhelmshaven route to other parts of its network, including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Austria. Additionally, the company informed its customers that container transport rates will also include the fuel surcharge costs for movements in Vilhelmshaven’s facilities, just like at the port of Hamburg.

Port of Wilhelmshaven. Source: Sohu

Congested ports

The current situation regarding German ports is problematic, not only due to global supply chain hurdles caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. For instance, a month ago, the port of Hamburg announced that it wouldn’t accept any export trains until further notice due to limited track capacity, already delayed trains, and reconstruction works. As a result, rail freight companies had to cancel numerous services, while in combination with some public holidays, the closure’s aftermath could be felt for weeks.

On top of that, the port strikes in Germany arrived a few days later. In early June, German dock workers’ associations called their members to a national strike that escalated in mid-June, causing havoc to the whole supply chain and all transport modes. Currently, as METRANS informs, “there is a risk of impending warning strikes in the ports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven that could start any time on 23 June, affecting again rail freight operations.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

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

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