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APM Terminals Maasvlakte II increases rail service to major inland logistics hub

APM Terminals Maasvlakte II’s new rail service between its Rotterdam terminal and Venlo, a key logistics hub on the Dutch-German border is proving popular. Following the success of the initial five-times-per-week service, plans are already in place to scale this up to 14 times per week over the coming weeks.

Venlo, a key logistics hotspot, was identified as an opportunity for the terminal following a gravity analysis involving key customers. A gravity analysis simplifies the paths taken by cargo through the terminal, and helps identify opportunities to improve efficiency in the logistics chain. Venlo stood out as it is ideally located for servicing distribution centres of major retailers such as C&A, Primark, Tommy Hilfiger, Esprit, and Zalando, just across the border. 

Speed to market a competitive advantage

“The terminal is equipped with a fully automated 500m barge berth, offering a reliable and efficient connection between Rotterdam and Venlo,” says Roy De Haan, Head of Commercial Management at Maasvlakte II. “However, with transport times of between six and seven days by barge, the new overnight rail service is very appealing to customers in industries such as fast fashion, where speed to market is an essential competitive advantage.”

The new rail service is available to all deep-sea carriers, as well as freight forwarders and directly to shippers. Starting as a pilot at the end of 2018, with three services per week, APM Terminals Maasvlakte II already has concrete plans to offer eight departures per week from July, and up to 14 departures per week soon after, subject to demand. 

The service is suitable for all types of containerized cargo, with the exception of IMO classifications 1 and 7. Discharging and loading is carried out between 18:30-01.00 at the terminal, with discharging and loading taking place between 07.30-11:00 at the Cabooter Blerick Inland Terminal, Venlo. 

Increased speed & reliability

“With direct load and discharge windows at both terminals, speed and convenience are clear benefits,” explains Roy de Haan. “As the rail operator, APM Terminals also has direct influence on both terminals (Maasvlakte II and Cabooter Berick), which enables the company to provide priority loading/discharge for urgent containers. The direct point-to-point service also offers increased reliability as there are no terminal stops that could bring potential delays.

“Each rail departure has capacity for 96 TEU, which replaces around 48 trucks on the road. The electrified rail service runs on electricity from renewable sources, providing a clear environmental benefit for customers.”

Future rail services

This new service compliments APM Terminals Maasvlakte II’s existing bi-weekly rail connection to Germersheim, Germany. With customers becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of the company’s excellent on-dock rail facilities and excellent connections, it will shortly be introducing a rail service to Duisburg, located at the centre of one of Germany’s largest conurbations. Duisburg is also strategically located at the junction of the Rhine and Ruhr rivers, with a connection to North Sea German ports via the Rhine-Herne Canal.

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