Container Transport By Rail Remains Stable

Wednesday, May 22, 2002
According to the annual report of the Dutch organization of rail operators container transport by rail was constant in 2001. Within the Netherlands it declined with 2 percent to 225,000 TEU. On the one hand the bankruptcy of operator Deltalogic played a role, on the other hand the start of the Shortline shuttle Rotterdam-Eindhoven had a positive effect. International transport was practically constant: 560,000 TEU. Volume especially rose on the destinations far away such as Italy. This compensated the decline of maritime containers. On the short distances, for example Rotterdam-Antwerp, rail experiences fierce competition from inland shipping. EXPANSION KOOLE TERMINAL Koole Tankstorage Pernis is going to expand its terminal for storage and distribution of edible oils and fats. Capacity is being extended to 300,000 m3, 27 kilometer of internal pipelines is constructed as well as two jetties for inland vessels and several loading stations for road- and rail transport. Investments are 27 million euro. Koole exploits three more terminals in the Netherlands as well as seventeen inland vessels and two coasters. MOL HQ TO ROTTERDAM MOL is transferring the liner agency department of its European headquarters to Rotterdam. The main reason is the wish to be closer to its customers. At present half of its European cargo is directed via Rotterdam and Antwerp and MOL expects this share to rise. STRING NWA The New World Alliance (NWA) will move its 'Atlantic Pacific Express' service (80,000 containers) from ECT to the adjacent Maersk Delta terminal at Maasvlakte. Two of the three weekly APE strings are operated by Maersk Sealand (MSL) with vessels of 4,600 TEU. NWA deploys 3,000 TEU vessels in the third string. Transfer is possible after the expansion of Maersk Delta from 800,000 to one million TEU during the Summer. SARGEANT OPENS BITUMEN TERMINAL Sargeant Marine has opened a terminal in Rotterdam's Botlek area for the European distribution of bitumen. The bitumen is produced overseas and brought in using nine of the company's own sea going tankers. In Rotterdam, the material is stored and mixed according to customer specifications. The bitumen is subsequently transported to the Benelux, Germany and France by rail, road or inland shipping and to the United Kingdom and Scandinavia by coaster. The terminal has a storage capacity of 30,000 m3 and an equal volume is anticipated as future expansion. In the start-up phase, the terminal will already process between 100,000 and 140,000 tonnes of bitumen a year. The majority of the bitumen (80%) is destined for the asphalt industry. NEW BALTIC SERVICE Baltic Sea Line (BSL) of Latvia launched a new service connecting Rotterdam with Klaipeda and Riga in the Baltic. In first instance BSL deploys one vessel (192 TEU). In the next weeks it decides on a second vessel to create a weekly fixed day operation. SWEDISH STEEL FOR ROTTERDAM SSAB Tunnplat (Sweden) has concluded a contract with Gevelco Transport Group to develop a logistic center for the European distribution of high-strength steel products. An important part of this new logistic centre is a so-called "All Weather Terminal", where coasters, up to 9000 tons dwt., can be loaded and unloaded irrespective of the weather conditions. Adjacent to this covered facility, special steel-storage sheds with air conditioning will be built. A de-coil and cutting plant is planned for further processing of the steel. Following a starting-up phase, the volume handled will be at least 500,000 tonnes a year. Delivery of the first phase of the center is expected in the second quarter of 2003. More and an artist's impression of the terminal: www.portofrotterdam.com. MANAGEMENT ECT CHANGES The Chairman of the Board of ECT, Steven Lak, will be stepping down. He will stay on in a consultative capacity, to assist with the reorganization, which will involve the loss of four hundred of the two thousand jobs. The general management of ECT falls to chairman Richard Pearson. He has been in charge of Hutchison's West European activities for the past few years. Since the autumn of last year, he has also been an Executive Director at Hutchison Port Holdings, the company that combines all of the conglomerate's port activities. A new director with ECT is Frank Kho (43) the present General Manager Operations at HIT, Hong Kong. Until the end of 1995, Frank Kho (43) was the head of product support at ECT. In between he assisted with the establishment of the new Yantian terminal in the southern Chinese port city of Shenzhen. More on Kho: www.portofrotterdam.com
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