Antwerp Port-Europe Traffic Up
Traffic flows between the Belgian port of Antwerp and the hinterland market in Hungary and Austria are increasing continuously. In order to meet the growing demand, the Antwerp Port Authority is promoting the expansion of hinterland connections, especially by rail.
Two regular rail connections to Hungary have been established since 2015 and rail services to Austria have been expanded from one to currently three.
At a port event held near Vienna on 27 September, leading representatives of the Antwerp port industry provided information on the further development of these transports with Austria and Hungary. 200 guests from both countries followed the invitation of the Antwerp Port Authority.
Hungary and Austria are an attractive but highly competitive market for the northern, southern and western ports. Due to its central location, Antwerp offers good conditions for the pre- and post-carriage of international flows of goods and is already an important import and export hub for the Central and Eastern European industry - with increasing demand for intermodal connections in particular.
On 11 September 2018, the intermodal network operator Hupac added a new scheduled service between Antwerp, Vienna and Budapest with two round trips per week to its network.
Further intermodal providers on these routes are Rail Cargo Logistics Austria in cooperation with Rail&Sea, Lineas Intermodal and Kombiverkehr, which offer regular connections to and from Linz, Vienna, Wels and Budapest and thus connect Austria and Hungary with important overseas destinations via Antwerp.
"The growing intermodal offer between Antwerp and Central and Eastern Europe is a very pleasing development for shippers in Austria and Hungary. In recent years, the port has invested heavily in expanding its hinterland connections to these countries," says Walter Holzhammer, Port Representative for Austria and Hungary of the Antwerp Port Authority.
The Antwerp Port Authority is not only focusing on a sustainable shift of traffic to rail and inland waterways in the hinterland, but also on traffic within the port. The railways' share, for example, is to be doubled from the current seven percent to 15 percent in the next five years.
The project is being implemented by Railport, a joint initiative of the Antwerp Port Authority, the Left Bank Development Corporation and the industry associations essenscia Flandern and Voka Alfaport. To this end, constructive talks are currently being held with the Belgian railway infrastructure company Infrabel to develop a new management model for the rail infrastructure in the port and thus make rail transport more flexible and efficient.