Intermodal Container Yard Tczew: new Polish dry port to be launched in 2025

2021/12/14 at 11:47 AM

The design and preparatory works for the construction of the Intermodal Container Yard Tczew (ICY Tczew) have started. According to the current schedule, the facility will be put into operation in 2025, says Robert Krzemiński, project manager at PCC Intermodal, who is responsible for the construction of the dry port at the Zajączkówo Tczewskie marshalling yard in the vicinity of Tczew.

Have the preliminary construction works of the dry port at the Zajączkówo Tczewskie station passed the critical point?

In the implementation of this type of investment, we have many milestones and just as many critical points but I can say that we are moving forward according to the adopted schedule. Design works are currently underway – carried out by the Katowice-based design office Project 1 – which should end in mid-2022 with obtaining a building permit. On this basis, we will apply for supporting the implementation of the investment from the EU funds.

Therefore, the final work schedule depends on the time of announcing the call for proposals by CEUTP (Centre for the EU Transport Projects – IntermodalNews) and finalising the relevant competitions. I hope that, by the end of 2022, we will be able to present a complete project with confirmed sources of financing and a detailed investment implementation schedule.

So what is the realistic plan for opening the terminal?

Currently, we assume that the facility will be put into use in 2025. The first containers should arrive at the ICY Tczew at the end of 2025, while the regular rail connections between our terminal and the maritime terminals of Gdańsk and Gdynia – within the so-called Port Shuttle Service (PSS) – should start at the beginning of 2026. The first stage of the investment will provide a throughput capacity of the ICY Tczew at around 500,000. TEU per year. Completion of the entire investment process is planned for 2029/2030, with the operating capacity of the ICY Tczew exceeding 1 million TEU per year.

Intermodal Container Yard Tczew (ICY Tczew), source: PCC Intermodal

Has anything changed in the investment project compared to the version presented to the public in May 2019?

The idea of running a modern consolidation and distribution centre in the hinterland of the ports of Gdańsk and Gdynia has been constant and unchanged for years. Such an object is necessary both from the regional point of view and for the needs of the development of transport on the Baltic-Adriatic Corridor. We also know that our partners from the Far East are also looking forward to launching this investment.

The dry port in Zajączkowo Tczewskie (ICY Tczew) will enable easy and effective access to maritime terminals in the ports of Gdańsk and Gdynia, and ultimately also to Elbląg. The regular 750-metre-long trains running within the Port Shuttle Service between the ports and the ICY will much better and more efficiently use the capacity of the railway lines, so that the growing container volumes can be moved to/from the port efficiently, safely and respecting the natural environment. We plan that the facility will be fully automated and will become a showcase and logistic gateway to Pomerania.

Will the terminal handle only rail transport?

This won’t be an ordinary terminal. ICY is a “dry port”, it is a centre for comprehensive customs and logistics services. We plan to carry out rail transhipment on the basis of two groups of 750-metre-long terminal tracks served by 10 fully automated railway cranes.

Due to its unique location, the ICY Tczew will mainly handle rail traffic – to/from ports and to/from land terminals. However, we also assume cooperation with road hauliers and shifting road traffic from the Tri-City bypass to PSS. Both gates, rail and road, will be automated and equipped with intelligent OCR systems. There will also be a depot and a dedicated chemical terminal within the ICY Tczew.

Is the ICY functioning model a benchmark in the world and does it work?

Yes, of course. We are pioneers in our country but we are not discovering America, although, inter alia, with the experts of the American company Moffat & Nichol, we conducted a thorough analysis and optimisation of the ICY operational processes in the field of the functioning of the track system, storage yards and the gate.

Coordination of deliveries to/from ports based on modern and effective back-end solutions is more and more appreciated both in the United States and in Europe, especially now in the pandemic period, when traditional supply chains have been disrupted and torn apart, ports suffer from a chronic lack of space and congestion.

Without a “dry port” in the hinterland of the ports of Gdańsk and Gdynia, we have nothing to dream about Poland as a logistics hub in Europe, and nothing to discuss related to shifting freight from roads to railways and reducing CO2 emissions as part of the sustainable development policy.

Potential stakeholders are probably interested in the quick opening of the terminal. Have there been any problems with the project implementation at this stage from the outside?

The ICY Tczew is the largest land handling facility ever built in Poland. It took us several years to secure over 60 hectares of the investment area, carry out geological and environmental research and obtain the necessary permits. But since this is not a “for a while” project, it was difficult to rush anything.

At the outset, we assumed that the ICY Tczew should be established as a public-private investment with the maximum possible use of the EU funds from the CEF program. Unfortunately, our idea did not meet the expected support and interest at that time. Currently, many different entities are interested in both the investment itself and the possibility of participating in its implementation, which confirms our belief that immediately after completing the design work, we should start the implementation stage. Our talks with partners and customers clearly show that the group of enthusiasts and potential users of the ICY is definitely larger than the group of sceptics and eternal malcontents.

It is probably already clear to everyone that a modern and effective “dry port” located in the vicinity of maritime terminals is nowadays a necessity and not a phantasmagoria, therefore nobody asks us today “if”, but “when” the ICY will open its gates.

What will the ICY infrastructure be like?

Intermodal Container Yard at Zajączkówo Tczewski station is a 65-hectare logistics and distribution centre, which will be equipped with, among others, with:

– transhipment railway tracks with dimensions of 10 x 750 metres,

– siding tracks,

– a motive power depot for inspections, maintenance and repairs of wagons and locomotives,

– the area in front of the gate and parking for trucks,

– automated, self-service stations for drivers,

– five entry and exit road lanes,

– OCR system at rail and road gates,

– railway X-ray scanner for the needs of the Tax and Customs Service for better customs control,

– a modern system of communication and management of individual sections of the facility,

– customs office with a full range of customs services,

– customs warehouse with an area of 20,000 square meters,

– container depot with repair workshops,

– container and tank-container washing station,

– office space for rent,

– hostel and food court for truck drivers, locomotive drivers, employees and guests.

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