Europe puts North Sea Port a little more firmly on the transport map
It gives an additional boost to North Sea Port's aim of getting more cargo onto the railways. In this way, North Sea Port is strengthening its connection to the European transport network and to the hinterland. This represents an additional logistical ace up the sleeve of the firms and railway terminals in the merged port.
It also links in perfectly with North Sea Port's stated aim of fully enabling all transport modes. Currently, some 10% of freight is transported by rail. North Sea Port wants to further grow this figure. "We look forward to facilitating that planned shift from road to rail", says a European source.
Corridors throughout Europe
With a view to smoother freight transport and more intensive use of rail and inland waterways, the European Union has been working for some time to develop nine cross-border transport axes. These 'corridors' link together the major economic centres within the EU.
'Rhine-Alpine' is one of the most important rail freight corridors for North Sea Port. This corridor links the main seaports in the Netherlands and Belgium to northern Italy via Germany and Switzerland. It follows the outline of the so-called 'Blue Banana', the EU's economic lung, consisting of first-class production, distribution and consumption centres. The corridor takes in 3,900 kilometres of railway track (2,400 km of which are main lines) and connects seven seaports (including North Sea Port), ten inland ports and one hundred railway terminals.
As a top ten port within Europe, North Sea Port is also part of other corridors. It is a link in the rail corridor between the North Sea and the Mediterranean. Terneuzen was recently added to this railway corridor, of which Gent and Vlissingen were already part. Moreover, in the shape of Ghent and Terneuzen, North Sea Port will soon be officially accorded a place on the rail axis between the North Sea and the Baltic.