In early 2017, Port of Aalborg and railway operator DB Cargo Scandinavia embarked on a collaboration aimed at making the transport of goods by rail an even more attractive proposition for North Jutland companies. Within few years the number of calls has increased from two to five per week.
– When we started in 2017, our primary objective was to achieve calling every weekday, which would enable us to offer the customers maximum flexibility. It is a great pleasure to end an otherwise challenging 2020 by meeting this target, says Rasmus Munk Kolind, Commercial Manager at Port of Aalborg.
The demand for calls to the East Port every weekday is a sign that after many years of preparatory work, the development of freight transport by rail is now firmly beginning to gather pace.
– We can see still more companies incorporating freight transport into their transport mix and see it as a competitive logistics solution on a par with road transport, says Thomas Vestergaard, Head of International Sales Denmark DB Cargo.
The emphasis on rail transport by actors in North Jutland is supported politically. Freight transport by rail has a significantly smaller carbon footprint than more widescale forms of transport such as road and the EU’s White Paper 2050 provides that 30% and 50% respectively, of lorry transport over 300 km in 2030 and 2050 respectively, shall be transferred to rail and sea.
– We expect rail freight transport to play a more substantial role in the future and we are therefore pleased to be able to now offer customers an even more versatile solution, while staying ahead of growing demand, says Thomas Vestergaard.
Investment in infrastructure
For nearly four years, there has also been significant investment in the facilities. Last spring, Port of Aalborg commenced an expansion of the railway infrastructure of the port with a substantial new 43,000 square-metre area with terminal and auxiliary sites on the south-east side of the East Port in Aalborg East.
– The first section was commissioned in August and work around the terminal is now in the final phase, so we expect to welcome customers to the last section of the terminal at the beginning of 2021. In addition to the terminal itself and the handling area, there will be a further 21,200 square-metre area for locating companies near the railway tracks affording them direct access to 4000 railway hubs throughout Europe. This can be very attractive, if the transport of goods via rail is a key component of the company’s logistics set-up, says Rasmus Munk Kolind.
By calling to the East Port every weekday, the initial aims of Port of Aalborg and DB Cargo have been achieved and now new ones are being set.
– Should this positive development be sustained, it is important that we continue to improve the framework and business cases for the customers. Here, frequency plays a significant role, and with continued expansion and improvement to facilities at the East Port, we can hopefully further increase the number of calls in the coming years, concludes Rasmus Munk Kolind.
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