MSC improves rail connectivity between European ports and hinterland
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the largest container shipping company, is extending its rail freight footprint in Europe. Its key focus is to arrange new intermodal links from major harbours to their hinterland areas. Now, it is running container trains from the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Hamburg are next in line.
In the first days of July 2022, Medway, MSC’s Portugal-based rail freight subsidiary, put into operation its branch in Belgium. With opening a new office, the railway undertaking launched four intermodal connections: from the Port of Antwerp-Bruges to Neuss, Frankfurt, Germersheim, Wörth Am Rhein. All the destinations are located in Germany, which is an important market for the company’s growth. In the mid-term, Medway will link the two other German ports, Hamburg and Bremerhaven, with the Central European hinterland. The same plan is for the Port of Rotterdam, the largest container harbour in Europe.
“The region is a critical trade area, with vital ports for global logistics and transport services, transporting a wide variety of goods. While the service remains open to all types, this service will mainly facilitate the movement of white goods, chemicals, automobiles and foodstuffs,” MSC noted.
Three plus four
By opening the Belgian office, Medway has received a significant opportunity to extend its geography. Previously, the rail freight operator was running in three European countries: Portugal, Spain and Italy. After obtaining the dedicated licences, it can move freight in four more states: Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria. Medway Belgium will comply with Medlog, a logistics provider, which is also a part of the MSC Group. To carry out its intermodal connections between Belgium and Germany, the entity rented locomotives from Alpha Trains and wagons from VTG.