In the summer of last year Antwerp Port Authority decided to invest €1.4 million over the next three years to support seven projects aimed at streamlining port-related transport and increasing its efficiency.

Then at the end of last year Transport minister Ben Weyts agreed to grant the same amount towards the financing of nine additional initiatives for the Port of Antwerp. This formed part of a wider initiative by the Flemish government to support mobility solutions for the four Flemish seaports.

“A modal shift towards more sustainable methods of transport that place less burden on our roads or even avoid them altogether is crucial for more efficient mobility, not only at present but also in the future,” said Marc Van Peel, Port alderman.

Seven projects

The port has committed to seven projects aimed at achieving this modal shift.

Firstly, DP World aims to make improvements to existing rail products and to attract new rail services, such as a new service to Stuttgart that will offer a sustainable transport alternative for the German car industry. The project will reduce the number of car transporter trips by 50,000 annually.

Multimodal logistics service provider Delcatrans is developing a reefer platform for barge transport at its River Terminal in Wielsbeke. By using barges for transport to and from Antwerp the project will help to avoid as many as 5,400 truck trips annually.

Hakka NV, which operates a digital platform for the truck industry, has submitted a proposal that uses its platform for an application that finds return loads for trucks, thus avoiding empty trips and making truck transport more efficient. Over the space of a year it will save 120,000 truck trips.

Barges and trains

The Dutch company Port-Liner specialises in building “zero emission” barges. The company submitted a project under which it will build five hybrid barges that will ply between De Kempen intermodal terminal in South Netherland and Antwerp. This will mean 23,000 fewer trucks on the roads annually.

Danser has submitted not one but two innovative barge concepts. It aims to save 26,000 truck trips per year by setting up a hub-and-spoke concept along the Brussels-Scheldt canal and by introducing a corridor system between northern France and Antwerp.

Euroports Inland Terminals is to introduce a new rail connection between Liège (Ile Mosin) and the Port of Antwerp. By offering a direct rail connection twice per week as of January 2018, the region around Liège which is already very well served by barge will become even more accessible. the space of a year this will lead to 16,200 fewer truck trips.

In the second half of 2018, Slovak Shipping and Ports will start operating combined trains with a mixture of intermodal and conventional wagons between the terminal in Bratislava and the port of Antwerp.

By connecting the Port of Antwerp more efficiently by rail with the eastern European hinterland, this project will save 6,000 truck trips on average per year.

Source: Green Ports