North Sea Port, Belgium, and Lineas, the largest private rail freight rail operator in Europe, have announced they will expand the rail network between Interface Terminal Ghent and the European hinterland, via the Lineas Main Hub, Antwerp.
According to a statement, the partnership will allow faster transportation of goods, with the 12 new destinations stretching from Madrid, Spain, Malmo, Swedem, Vienna, Austria and Curtici, Romania.
Goods will be unloaded and loaded at the Interface Ghent, a unique 4-modal container terminal (sea, shipping, inland shipping, rail and road transport). Trains then travel to Antwerp, where they join the Lineas European rail network.
Daan Schalck, North Sea Port CEO, said the expansion is only the start of the port’s ambitions. “For many companies these 12 extra destinations offer opportunities to transport goods to the hinterland by rail. Many quays and business parks in North Sea Port include rail tracks and track bundles.”
“It is our aim to further increase rail transport. These 12 new destinations are a good contribution.”
Sam Bruynseels, CCO, Lineas, spoke of the partnership’s importance to the region. “We are proud to be a strategic partner of a thriving port company that is increasingly focusing on rail development.
“The connection between Ghent and Antwerp provides an opportunity for companies to transfer more volumes by rail to the European hinterland every day via our Green Xpress Network.
“It is our intention to increase the frequency in the coming period, so that in the long term we can establish direct connections between Ghent and European destinations.”
Currently, some 7.7 million tons of goods are brought in and out of North Sea Port by rail each year. This accounts for nearly 10% of transport to and from the hinterland.