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Intermodal Transport

New railway line between China and North Sea Port in Ghent takes more Volvo cars to their destinations

The new rail connection from Ghent fits in with Volvo Cars’ strategy for faster, more sustainable and more cost-effective operations.

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New railway line between China and North Sea Port in Ghent takes more Volvo cars to their destinations
New railway line between China and North Sea Port in Ghent takes more Volvo cars to their destinations. Image: North Sea Port
Several times every week Volvo Cars in Ghent ships vehicles from North Sea Port by rail to China, Italy and Austria. The first train carrying 190 XC60s from China arrived in Kluizendok on Thursday 4 July and will return with 180 XC90s, V90s and V60s to the Chinese port of Xi’an.

The new rail connection from Ghent fits in with Volvo Cars’ strategy for faster, more sustainable and more cost-effective operations, in terms of production as well as from a logistics point of view. Exporting part of the cars by rail instead of by sea or road, reduces the impact on the environment. Also, the cars will reach their destination faster. The lead time from factory to final destination can be shortened by half.

Multimodal port

North Sea Port has the aim to stimulate transport by rail and by water. “Volvo Cars makes full use of the good hinterland connections of North Sea Port in Ghent by opting for sustainable rail transport to the European inland countries and China. It will strengthen our position as a multimodal port,” says Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port.

Fewer trucks on the road

Trains to Italy are loaded and unloaded at the DFDS terminal at Mercatordok. China trains arrive and depart from Kluizendok. Rail operator Lineas manages the rail exports from North Sea Port to China and Italy. Through its modal shift to rail Volvo Cars takes around 5,000 trucks off the road every year. A train will run twice a week from North Sea Port to Xi’an in China.

About Volvo Car Ghent

Volvo Car Ghent is a car factory in the port of Ghent, owned by Volvo Car Corporation. It consists of a welding plant, spraying plant and a final assembly plant. With 6,500 employees, it is one of the largest industrial employers in East Flanders. In 2018, Volvo Car Ghent produced 200,396 cars. These are the V40, XC40 and V60 models.

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Container Shipping Lines

DP World Maputo launches first dedicated logistics rail service between Maputo and Harare

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DP World Maputo launches first dedicated logistics rail service between Maputo and Harare. Image: DP World
DP World Maputo launches first dedicated logistics rail service between Maputo and Harare. Image: DP World
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DP World Maputo, which has the concession to manage, develop and operate the Maputo container terminal, last Friday handled the first dedicated container train service connecting Maputo and Harare, Zimbabwe.

The new service is part of the company’s continued focus to expand its logistics and supply chain offering in the region, and key to its vision to connect several countries in Southern Africa – namely Maputo with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland – by rail.

This new offering presents a multitude of new business opportunities for customers in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Not only will this help enhance DP World Maputo’s position as a gateway to Zimbabwe, the service offers significantly better transit times for customers in Zimbabwe. In the past, transit goods on their way to Harare would often have to be transported far greater distances by sea and road, but this route will give customers a new, direct, and faster option for delivery.

Following the launch of the bi-weekly rail service, DP World Maputo will continue to work with all the stakeholders involved to make this a weekly train service between the two cities, to allow even greater cost saving and planning opportunities for businesses and individuals who need reliable, efficient transportation of goods.

Christian Roeder, CEO of DP World Maputo said: “This rail service between Maputo and Harare is key to reopening the route between these markets to drive more efficient logistics in the region. Through this service, which we will facilitate and handle all port and border documentation, we can cut down transit times, give our customers better service and improve the connections between cities.”

The rail service also follows the recent announcement of DP World Komatipoort in South Africa, handling its first transit import via Maputo, demonstrating that the Maputo Port can be seamlessly used as a gateway to South Africa’s hinterland using DP World Komatipoort. International container imports landed in Maputo port and destined for the South African hinterland, can now be moved under bond to Komatipoort, where full customs clearance can be provided and made ready for delivery across South Africa.

DP World will continue to develop the Maputo Corridor, a vital trade route in Southern Africa, through investing in new infrastructure to meet local demand, while DP World Maputo’s container terminal capacity will also be enhanced, having already doubled in size between 2016 and 2018.

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Container Terminal

ICTSI Rio to run eco-friendly rail operations

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ICTSI Rio to run eco-friendly rail operations. Image: ICTSI
ICTSI Rio to run eco-friendly rail operations. Image: ICTSI
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ICTSI Rio Brasil is expanding its logistics support services in Brazil, adding rail logistics to its operations with the long-term lease of Floriano Intermodal Terminal in Barra Mansa, Rio de Janeiro.

To run this operation, ICTSI Rio formed a new company – IRB Logística – to take over the operations of the terminal from Multitex Logistica starting on 1 July 2021. IRB Logística will offer sustainable cargo handling, transport, and storage services to the economic, industrial, and production centers in Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, and São Paulo.

“We are excited for IRB Logística to commence operations and look forward to coordinating closely with our sister company to improve synergy in the regional supply chain. While ICTSI Rio’s and IRB Logística’s operations are independent from one another, we share the common goal of driving economic growth in the region by providing more efficient, seamless, and value-added solutions across the entire logistics chain,” said Roberto Lopes, ICTSI Rio Chief Executive Officer.

Located in an industrial cluster some 150 kilometers away from the Port of Rio de Janeiro, the intermodal terminal mainly handles containerized cargo and steel products, which are better suited for rail tranport, for industries in the South Fluminense region.  It can accommodate up to 70 train wagons and features a yard for storage and container stuffing, as well as a covered area for storage of finished products.

The 3.4-hectare port is 100 percent solar-powered and operates a fleet of cargo handling equipment that runs on electricity – operational aspects that align perfectly with the sustainability strategy of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. across its global portfolio.

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Container Shipping Lines

Good traction for MSC’s Asia-to-Europe ocean and rail solution

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Good traction for MSC’s Asia-to-Europe ocean and rail solution. Image: MSC
Good traction for MSC’s Asia-to-Europe ocean and rail solution. Image: MSC
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In mid-May, the first shipment of MSC containers was moved via MSC block train from Vostochniy to St. Petersburg in Russia, as part of a new regular multimodal solution from Asia to Europe, which was launched in April.

In recent years, a growing number of shippers have been moving containers from east to west over land, including a surge in cargo originating in China bound for Europe via rail. Against the backdrop of this trend, MSC launched the Taiga service, which combines MSC’s intra-Asia shipping network, our rail service in Russia and our short-sea feeder network in Europe. One single package offers connections from China, Korea and Japan all the way to various locations in North West Continent, Europe

From Asia, cargo is shipped on MSC’s Golden Horn and Sunrise services to two of the largest container ports in Russia: Vostochniy and Vladivostok. The cargo is then transported via MSC block train to St. Petersburg in 13 days and can then be transshipped via MSC’s Maroc Express and Baltic Loop 7 services to other North-West Continent and northern European ports such as Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Le Havre in four to seven days.

“Customer response for this new solution has been very positive, and the volume is currently high enough so we can run dedicated block trains to St. Petersburg, instead of relying on existing rail schedules. This means added flexibility for our customers, which is much appreciated in these challenging times,” said Salvatore Scotto di Santolo, Trade Manager at MSC’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Total transit time for shipments from Shanghai to St. Petersburg is 24 days via this combined solution of ocean and rail, compared with 41 days by ocean freight. In addition, the usage of rail service is highly stable as it is not so impacted by weather conditions, increasing the reliability of the offering.

Potential for further growth

In 2020, China became the EU’s largest trading partner and exports from China to the EU grew by 5.6 per cent compared with 2019, according to data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office.

While MSC continues to offer traditional ocean network coverage via our usual 2M services, the Asia-to-Europe multimodal solution is an attractive additional alternative proposition for shippers who are facing issues with getting space on ocean freight services due to the Suez Canal blockage incident in April and on-going port congestion in Europe stemming from the pandemic.

Furthermore, there is room for this transport option of moving cargo overland via Russia to scale up, with MSC’s commitment to avoid considering the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic due to environmental concerns.

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