The Turkish logistics company Ekol Logistics and the Belgian groupage firm Transuniverse Forwarding informed that they are together building a 40 hectare multimodal site at Kluizendok in Ghent, part of North Sea Port. There will be 10 hectares for a cross-docking platform, 20 hectares for a rail terminal and 10 hectares for a ro-ro terminal.
Transuniverse Forwarding currently operates a cross-dock centre in Ghent for its groupage shipments to and from the whole of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. In this transhipment building, shipments are brought together and divided between trucks or intermodal containers, so as to then go to the different destinations. These products flows have seen strong growth over recent years, making the 8,000 m² facility insufficient.
For this reason, Frank Adins, chairman of Transuniverse Forwarding Group, said that they decided to build a new 20,000 m² cross-dock centre on a site covering 10 hectares. According to the preliminary plans, the building will be over 300 metres long and 60 metres wide and will number 140 loading docks/loading platforms. Due to its size, some of the transhipment there will be automated or robotised.
Based on current plans, the new transhipment building will start operations by the end of 2021.
In addition, as the containers and trailers heading for the UK will be moved by ship, Ekol Logistics and Transuniverse are also constructing a ro-ro terminal building at the head of Kluizendok. This will create opportunities to organise transport by ship to more northerly ports in the UK.
These developments align with North Sea Port’s objectives. The port aspires to develop Kluizendok as a multimodal logistics hub in Europe. It is also encouraging companies to make increasing use of sustainable modes of transport such as rail and water.
Because of the new facilities at Kluizendok, the company expects to be able to double its activities within five years. Every week, 20 Ekol trains will leave the railway terminal in North Sea Port, connecting the port to the European hinterland. The terminal will tranship 2 million tons of goods.
The entire project will provide several hundred jobs, directly and indirectly.