As part of the Freight Forum’s wish to better understand port requirements towards rail, Oliver Sellnick, UIC Director for Freight and Sandra Géhénot, UIC Senior Advisor for Combined Transport, met Helen De Wachter from Antwerp Port Authority on 17 January.
Mrs De Wachter, head of rail development, presented the second largest port in Europe for international shipping freight and the seventh largest in the world.
Antwerp represents 178,168,003 tonnes of freight (up 12.9% on 2009), 1,000 km of track and 26 rail sidings.
Its central position in North-West Europe and its excellent connections with the most important centres of industry and consumption in Europe have led to Antwerp becoming a very important link in the chain of international trade.
With 50% of Antwerp’s rail traffic being intermodal, the discussion focused on this market segment and Oliver Sellnick was pleased to present the results of UIC’s “2010 Report on Combined Transport”. He also gave an overview of the range of projects in which UIC is currently involved.
A project of particular interest to the Port is ICOMOD. This UIC project has just been launched and will look at the viability of a rail link between Europe and Asia, the aim being to understand the business economics behind such an initiative in order to help stakeholders develop regular business.
The meeting concluded with the identification of potential cooperation areas between UIC and the Port: the development of intercontinental rail links was one of them.