CMA CGM launches Greece-Serbia rail service linking emerging hubs

Some CMA CGM containership on a train

CMA CGM, the global container transport and shipping company, is about to launch a new intermodal service starting on 11 August. The service will link the Greek port of Thessaloniki and Niš in Serbia. As it seems, the service’s hub in Serbia will be the recently established MBOX Terminal. “Thessaloniki – MBOX Terminals rail service is starting soon. Stay tuned,” commented on LinkedIn Dejan Nikolic, the terminal’s CEO.

The new intermodal solution will serve “the dynamic industrial and commercial district of Niš located in the Southern East part of Serbia,” said CMA CGM. The French company will link the two destinations with a weekly block-train shuttle transporting 50 TEUs per trip, with a transit time of two and a half days.

Additionally, Niš will open up even more to the world after connecting with the port of Thessaloniki since, according to CMA CGM, it will have access to eight maritime services. However, the Serbian city already has access to the sea, with its first train service arriving from the Croatian port of Rijeka, also served by COSCO.

A foreseen development

Linking the MBOX Terminal in Niš with ocean lines and, specifically, the ports of Thessaloniki and potentially Piraeus in Greece was among Nikolic’s first plans, even before the terminal’s construction was over. In an interview with a year earlier, Nikolic mentioned that “MBOX terminal wants to offer a new gateway for new ocean carriers on Serbian and regional markets.”

“Besides ports (Rijeka and Bar) and ocean carriers with a long tradition in Serbia, we also expect to connect with the carriers coming from Greek and Turkish ports. Therefore, we are trying to set up our dedicated block train service to and from Thessaloniki in Greece”, highlighted Nikolic. Thessaloniki is 400 kilometres away from Niš, making the port an ideal destination for quick and high-frequency connections.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

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

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