Traffic flows between the Port of Antwerp and the hinterland market in Hungary and Austria are increasing continuously. In order to meet the growing demand, the Antwerp Port will attempt to expand the hinterland connections, especially by rail.
Namely, two regular rail connections to Hungary have been created since 2015 and rail services to Austria have been expanded from one to currently three. Now the Port of Antwerp informed about further development of these transports with Austria and Hungary.
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Specifically, on 11 September 2018, the intermodal network operator Hupac added a new scheduled service between Antwerp, Vienna and Budapest with two round trips per week to its network.
In addition, Luc Arnouts, Director International Networks of the Port of Antwerp, mentioned that he expects a significant increase in the flow of goods from Austria and Hungary. For this reason they must push ahead with the establishment of additional regular transport links in order to cope with this growth.
As he explained, the focus will be on intermodal transport solutions and the establishment of regional hubs and consolidation centers. There, freight traffic from Austria and Hungary can be efficiently bundled.
However, the Port of Antwerp will also focus on traffic within the port. The railways’ share is to be doubled from the current 7% to 15% in the next five years.
Finally, to achieve these goals, talks are currently being held with the Belgian railway infrastructure company Infrabel to develop a new management model for the rail infrastructure in the port and improve rail transport.