Information published on 19 August 2014 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 413.

Switzerland: SBB Cargo launches handling capacity expansion scheme for future Basel-North container terminal

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SBB Cargo and companies in the logistics and port industry sectors are teaming up to establish a new enterprise that will operate the new Basel-North container terminal. The companies Hupac and Contargo will participate in a first phase for road/rail handling. The three partners have signed a declaration of intent that covers this activity. More partners will be able to join the trio for the waterside connection to the inland port on the Rhine and the tri-modal extension.

At a later stage, the terminal is to be connected to inland navigation thanks to the building of a third harbour basin (harbour basin 3) and the railside will be expanded with a complete rail terminal. With the connection of the terminal waterside, the two environmentally friendly modes of transport, ship and rail, will be efficiently combined with each other. The improved connection to the seaports on the water route means a significant competitive advantage for the location of Basel and all Switzerland.

Hupac and Contargo already operate their own handling facilities in the Basel region and can contribute a wealth of transport and goods handling experience. SBB Cargo is the market leader for freight traffic in Switzerland and currently manages its own terminals across the country. SBB Cargo also owns the site on which the new Basel-North terminal is to be constructed.

Logistics sector involved in the design of the terminal

As planned, SBB Cargo wishes to launch the authorisation procedure for this new terminal in the fourth quarter of this year. In a first phase, the aim is to bring into operation the basic terminal for road/rail handling by 2016. In a second phase, the facility will be expanded and connected to a new harbour basin for tri-modal handling (road/rail/ship) and directly connected to Kleinhüningen Rhine port.

Representatives of the logistics sector have been closely involved in the planning work of SBB Cargo in the first half of the year. Topics including rail, navigation, road, containers and the market have been addressed by five working groups. The work has been constantly aligned with the Federal Office of Transport (FOT).

During the mediation process initiated by the Federal Office of Transport (FOT) in 2013, representatives of the Swiss transport and shipping sectors declared themselves in favour of the Basel North tri-modal container terminal. The aim of the project is to create the necessary capacity to allow the increasing volume of container imports and exports to be managed efficiently.

(Source: SBB)