Rail freight: MSC Medway launches in Belgium; CargoBeamer opens Cologne-Sète line

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Amid the driver shortage, road transport bottlenecks in Europe and the driver to cut emissions, more companies are looking into the possibilities of intermodal transportation. Earlier this week, shipping company MSC announced the extension of its Medway railway company in Belgium, while CargoBeamer recently opened its new rail connection between Cologne and Sète.

Rail freight: MSC Medway launches in Belgium; CargoBeamer opens Cologne-Sète line
Photo credits @ Nelso Silva, CC BY-SA 2.0

When it comes to MSC, the company wants to offer better all-in-one solutions for customers and optimise its supply chain. Medway, which has already been present in Spain, Portugal and Italy, has already requested an extension of its field of action from the European rail agency ERA for Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, reports the Belgian website Flows.

The start-up of the rail activities for Medway Belgium will take place in different phases. In a first phase, Medway will take over the MSC shuttles between Antwerp MPET and the German hinterland destinations Neuss, Frankfurt, Germersheim and Wörth.

In a second phase, the portfolio will be expanded with other existing flows and new projects via MSC’s network.

CargoBeamer opens new rail connection between Cologne and Sète

The logistics service provider CargoBeamer has also launched a new connection for the unaccompanied transport of semi-trailers by rail – a line between Cologne in western Germany and Sète in southern France.

While trains will run on a two-rotation-frequency per week, semi-trailers, swap bodies and containers can be transported environmentally friendly on rail. Together with the intermodal service provider primeRail, CargoBeamer serves as operator of the trains, being responsible for their planning and dispatching.

As the Danish shipping and logistics company DFDS acts as the sole customer, Cologne – Sète becomes be the first service dedicated to one client exclusively in the portfolio of CargoBeamer.

The slots on the trains are allocated by DFDS. Each train can carry 38 trailers on T3000 wagons. From Sète, an option to extend the transport by ferry across the Mediterranean Sea to Yalova in Turkey is provided.

The French company Europorte serves as the traction partner for the Franco-German line. Europorte is a subsidiary of the Getlink Group, which also operates the Eurotunnel, the only rail link between France and the United Kingdom.

By adding Cologne – Sète, both companies expand their cooperation after already working together on the unaccompanied rail transportation of semi-trailers between Calais (FR) and Ashford (UK) since September 2021.

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