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
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:
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.