New route to facilitate ‘combi’ transport connections between the UK and southern and eastern Europe. German logistics company, CargoBeamer, will inaugurate its new rail-road transhipment hub in Calais next month with the launch of an intermodal service to Perpignan, in the French Pyrenees, which will also facilitate combined transport connections between the UK and southern and eastern Europe.
Two weekly round-trips will be introduced from 14 June, rising to four weekly round trips from 5 July.
Cargobeamer’s Calais hub is equipped with an innovative system for the automated transfer of freight trailers to and from rail wagons and is expected to allow for smoother operations in multi-modal terminals and offer new opportunities in transhipment markets.
Partnered in the project by Calais Promotion, the economic development agency of the Calais region, Cargobeamer was awarded a European Union grant of €7 million in July 2019 within the framework of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme, a funding instrument for developing the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
The funding provided by the EU has covered around 20% of the total investment costs in the hub.
Cargobeamer’s Calais ‘combi’ terminal has been built on a 5.7 hectare site at the heart of the French Chaznnel port’s ‘ZAC Transmarck-Turquerie’, an area of 220 hectares dedicated to transport and logistics activities.
Initially, the terminal will be equipped with six automated transhipment modules and telescopic crane handling space. At full build-out in 2023, 18 modules will be in service, enabling a full train to be loaded in 20 minutes.
Next month, Cargobeamer will also launch a rail service between the inland port of Duisburg in western Germany and the Polish city Poznan with three weekly round-trips per week.
It already operates a route linking Kaldenkirchen, on the German-Dutch border and Domodossola, in north-west Italy.
In addition to semi-trailers Cargobeamer’s system also enables the transport of P400-trailers, containers, bulk and frigo trailers as well as dangerous goods.
“The new lanes between Duisburg and Poznan as well as Calais and Perpignan will serve as an important step towards our vision of a European network of intermodal Cargobeamer trains, a goal we are constantly working on to achieve,” commented Cargobeamer’s chief business development officer and board member, Nicolas Albrecht.
“With our lane from Calais to Perpignan we are able to lay the foundation for domestic French transport from the English Channel to the Mediterranean Sea and Iberian Peninsula. Additionally, we are very excited to see our first Cargobeamer terminal in regular market use in Calais. Here Cargobeamer is going to show the main advantages of its technology to the rest of the world by handling six to 12 train pairs per day in record time. Calais will serve as an important cornerstone to enable more environmentally- friendly cargo transport by rail in the future.”
He added: “Together with our partner Duisport we are very pleased to address the eastern European markets for the first time. We are strongly considering more actions towards this region in the near future.”