News

Goods traffic between North Sea Port and hinterland by inland waterways continues to increase

Published on Thu 17 Sep 2020
The transport of cargo to the hinterland by inland waterways has again risen year-on-year in North Sea Port. With an increase of 4%, this form of transport now accounts for a full 58%. This is the result of the second study conducted by the port among companies throughout the cross-border port area.

As a multimodal port, North Sea Port is focusing heavily on sustainable transport. This was the second time the cross-border Dutch/Flemish port has conducted research into the various transportation options used by companies to move goods to and from the hinterland.

The study revealed that 58% of goods are transported using inland waterways. This figure covers both the loading and unloading of inland navigation vessels and represents an increase of no less than 4% in a single year. “This rewards our commitment to growth towards sustainable modes of transport with a solid position among Europe’s leading seaports", says Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port. At the same time, the share of road transport has fallen to 28% (-2%).Rail saw a rise of 1%, taking its share to 10%.Transferring cargo from one vessel to another vessel or mode of transport – otherwise known as transhipment – accounts for 4% (-3%).

Further developing inland navigation and rail

North Sea Port is actively pursuing a modal shift towards inland shipping and rail. It has an extensive network of hinterland connections – North Sea Port is located at the intersection of the European transport modes inland navigation, rail (as far as China) and road transport, as well as on a number of European transport corridors.

“These figures from the modal split study show that firms and shipping companies in North Sea Port are further pursuing transport using the inland waterways – in particular for moving containers”, says Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port.

Transport by inland waterway will increase further with the completion of the Seine-Scheldt project, which will allow inland waterway vessels with a cargo capacity of up to 4,500 tons to travel as far as Paris.
As regards developments on the railways, the port, along with various companies and a significant number of partners, continues to actively push for a railway line between Vlissingen and Antwerp, between Terneuzen and Zelzate, tackling a number of bottlenecks on the track in the port area, and using railway line no. 204 for passenger transport between Ghent-Dampoort and Zelzate.

Second study into transport options

This was the second time that North Sea Port had conducted this study into the use of hinterland transport. This time, the study was based on the figures for the year 2019. The first study using the figures for the year 2018 – its first year as a merged port – was the baseline measurement