More sustainable and efficient operational model for Single Wagon Load in Antwerp port area

More sustainable and efficient operational model for Single Wagon Load in Antwerp port area

Results of bundling exercise by Railport known

From 1 January 2024, train traffic in the Antwerp port area will be organised differently. For Single Wagon Load, there will be a new operational model that is neutral and usable by all interested parties. In order to bundle this traffic, Railport launched a tendering process, and the winners are now known. This is a first result of the rail vision for the port and should lead to a more efficient and better offering.

Efficiently organising what is known as the first mile and last mile traffic in the port area is a very difficult exercise. First of all, rail traffic is expected to grow. In addition, there are many different rail operators, each with its own operational model. There is also currently no collaboration between these companies. All that rail traffic has to go over the limited available rail infrastructure with some bottlenecks, such as the bridges over the locks.

The deliveries of railcars are many and fragmented. This dramatically increases costs and has a negative impact on the environment.

Significant efficiency and sustainability gains can be achieved by better coordinating railcar deliveries and collections and by bundling the delivery and collection within the port area. As such, longer trains can be used instead of many short trains.

Nils van Vliet, CEO Railport: Although this was not an easy exercise, we are extremely happy with the result and with the huge support and backing from the industry and freight payers.  Without their support we would not have succeeded.  The project shows that together we can effectively change things by joining forces.  Moreover, the project does not stop here.  Railport will continue to monitor quality, organise area meetings to increase efficiency and take the necessary initiatives to accelerate the digitalisation exercise that has already started. We look to the future with hope.

In order to achieve this, Railport has divided the port into zones based on consolidated volumes and operational optimisation. On that basis, Railport has organised a tender for the first and last mile in each zone. It received a mandate for this from freight payers in these zones.

In doing so, Railport is aiming to make first-mile and last-mile traffic more accessible to both rail operators and freight payers. The model counters fragmentation and increases transparency as to their own goods.

After evaluating the bids received, the results of the tendering are known:

  • Area 1 – Kanaaldokken: Lineas
  • Area 2 – Buitenschoor: Lineas
  • Area 3 – Bevrijdingsdok: Railtraxx
  • Area 4 – Oorderen : DB Cargo
  • Area 5 – Old Port: individual solution tailored to each freight payer
  • Area 6 – Oosterweel: Lineas
  • Area 7 – Deep sea: Railtraxx
  • Area 8 – WLH: Railtraxx
  • Area 9 – Zwijndrecht: Railtraxx
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The participating freight payers can now enter into a first and last mile agreement with the selected railway operators.

The selected operators will offer their services in a neutral manner, to all interested parties. This means that even freight payers who had not (yet) submitted their volume in the tendering process can still join the project and make use of the services offered.

This regulation will take effect on 1 January 2024.

For more information:

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About Railport Antwerp

NV Railport ​ is a joint initiative of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever, essenscia (the chemicals, plastics and life sciences sector federation) and Alfaport Voka (the platform of and for companies and trade associations from the port of Antwerp within Voka Chamber of Commerce Antwerp-Waasland). Railport's main task is to coordinate various rail activities in the port in order to improve and stimulate rail transport in the port. To this end, Railport fulfils a bridging function between the railway companies, port operators, shippers, terminals and rail infrastructure manager.

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About Port of Antwerp-Bruges

With an overall throughput of 271 million tonnes per year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a critical hub in worldwide trade and industry. The port is a crucial link for the handling of containers, breakbulk and for the throughput of vehicles. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is home to 1,400 companies and accommodates the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe. The port provides, directly and indirectly, a total of around 164,000 jobs and generates an added value of 21 billion euros.
The ambition for Port of Antwerp-Bruges is clear - to become the world's first port that reconciles economy, people and climate. As well as growing in a sustainable way, the Port also aims to focus on its unique position as a logistics, maritime and industrial centre and to take the lead in the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy. Together with the port community, customers and other partners, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is actively seeking innovative solutions for a sustainable future. High on the agenda is its responsibility for the environment and the surrounding society. 

The port sites of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are operated by the Antwerp-Bruges Port Authority, a limited liability company of public law with the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges as its shareholders. The port employs 1,800 people. Vice-Mayor of Antwerp Annick De Ridder is President of the Board of Directors, the Mayor of Bruges Dirk De fauw is the Vice-President. Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the port’s day-to-day management.

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to

Port of Antwerp-Bruges
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp