Over half of all goods traffic between North Sea Port and hinterland travels by inland waterway shipping

Published on Tue 26 Nov 2019
North Sea Port can see that 54% of goods are transported to the hinterland by means of inland waterway shipping. This is the outcome of a study conducted by the port among companies throughout the port area.

As a multimodal port, North Sea Port will increasingly be focusing on sustainable transport in the future.

North Sea Port conducted research into the various transportation options used by companies to transport goods to the hinterland, which revealed that 54% of goods are transported by means of inland waterway shipping. 30% is loaded into lorries, whilst 9% is transported by rail. Transferring cargo from a vessel to another vessel or mode of transport – otherwise known as transhipment – accounts for 7%.

The results of the study were explained during North Sea Port’s multimodal event. At an ‘Intermodal Marketplace’, shippers and logistics intermediaries were able to find out about the rapidly expanding range of services provided by terminals and shipping companies. These parties offer regular services from North Sea Port with destinations such as Antwerp, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Scandinavia, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, China, West Africa and South America by sea shipping (deep-sea and short-sea), rail and inland waterway shipping.

Further developing inland waterway shipping and rail transport

When the merger began on 1 January 2018, North Sea Port announced its ambition right away to actively start a modal shift towards rail and inland waterway shipping. North Sea Port has an extensive network of hinterland connections. After all, North Sea Port is where various European modes of transport intersect, including rail (as far as China) and road transport.

The figures from the modal split study serve as the perfect starting point for explaining and further developing the changes in the modal shift in North Sea Port in the future. North Sea Port will therefore continue to work with companies and shipping companies on further pursuing transportation by means of inland waterway shipping – the transportation of containers in particular.

The port is also looking forward to the realisation of the Seine-Scheldt project, which will allow inland waterway vessels with a load capacity of 4,500 tons to travel as far as Paris.
As far as developments on the railways are concerned, the port, along with various companies and a significant number of partners, will work towards creating a railway line between Vlissingen and Antwerp, between Terneuzen and Zelzate, to tackle a number of problems on the track in the port area, and to use railway line 204 for passenger transport between Ghent-Dampoort and Zelzate.

Baseline measurement

North Sea Port was the first merger port to conduct this study. The merger ports previously did this separately too, but based on different methodologies. The study was conducted during the course of 2019 on the basis of 2018 figures.