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Full steam ahead

Bertschis new rail terminal in Rotterdam will strengthen the ports logistic and multimodal capabilities

SWISS INTERMODAL operator Bertschi officially opened its new rail terminal in the Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands on August 31. On the same day, the company also inaugurated a new rail connection to Frankfurt, Germany, and Busto Arsizio, Italy. Speaking at the opening ceremony, president and CEO Hans-Jorg Bertschi, said: This new rail terminal will help to relieve the current bottlenecks and also closes a

missing link in our pan-European intermodal network, which stretches from Portugal to Russia, and from Finland to Turkey. In the coming months, the facility will be linked by rail and short-sea to Austria, Italy, southern Germany, Switzerland, southeastern Europe, Eastern Europe including Russia, and by short-sea to Scandinavia, Spain, Portugal and the UK. A second link on the new rail route is scheduled to start at Duisburg, Germany, in November, with connections to eastern Germany, Poland, Hungary, Austria and

Russia becoming operational by the end of this year. Bertschis goal is to develop a multimodal hub for chemicals in Rotterdam. He said the terminal and rail facility would offer local producers and the deep-sea market the opportunity to shift more of their flows away from Europes congested roads to rail and waterways. He also wants to boost the shift to rail and rationalize logistics processes by consolidating individual chemical product flows to full daily shuttle trains. This service will be offered to not just the local chemical producers but also to importers, particularly of plastics from the Middle East. Current capacity is four inbound and four outbound shuttle trains a day. Bertschi is also making its rail services available to third parties and intermodal operator Hupac will offer slots on the trains leaving Rotterdam. The terminal, which cost 7.5m ($10.5m) and took six months to build, covers an area of 3.5ha (8.6 acres) and has a direct internal access to the neighbouring shortsea container port. It has a storage capacity of 1,250 twenty foot equivalent units (TEU), of which 450 TEU is allocated for hazardous cargo. A transhipment facility for bulk plastic products will be added at the beginning of next year, mainly for receiving and storing product from the Middle East. Additional facilities will be developed in the next five years, depending on customers needs and the growth of imports from the Middle East. The company has several options to expand and, based on current land options, it could triple the site in the future.
For more information on Bertschi,
visit | October 1-7, 2007 | ICIS Chemical Business


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