For some time already, European Gateway Services (EGS), Barge Terminal Born and the Danser Group have successfully joined forces in the Limburg Express. For the last two years, the Limburg Express has been maintaining a fixed barge connection between Born, Venlo and the ECT Delta terminal in Rotterdam. The partners would now like to scale up to Limburg Express 2.0, in which an additional ship will be deployed that also calls at other terminals in Rotterdam
What makes the Limburg Express unique is the collaboration between two inland terminals (Barge Terminal Born and Hutchison Ports Venlo) in Limburg which previously served ECT with their own vessels. The collaboration yields various efficiency improvements. The consolidation makes it possible to use fixed windows at the ECT Delta terminal in Rotterdam. As a result, the ship is handled according to a fixed schedule - and therefore reliably.
The deployment of a push-barge combination allows for much larger volumes to be transported to Limburg per sailing; furthermore, the handling at the inland terminal is much more efficient. For example, the pushed lighter is moored in Venlo for unloading and loading while the barge sails on to Born in the meantime. In addition, containers are efficiently reused. Empty containers are repositioned between the terminals via the Limburg Express. For example, it may be the case that the empty import containers are transported from Venlo to Born to be loaded again with export cargo there.
Many companies that use the Limburg Express consider it a great success. Helen van den Heuvel on behalf of Hapag-Lloyd: “In recent years, the relationship between the two inland terminals has really developed in the direction of a partnership. We are able to offer our customers a reliable service provision and we consequently see that our volumes have increased in recent years.”
For Michael Kors in Venlo, it contributes to the objectives of corporate social responsibility. “As a global brand, we want to reduce our impact on the environment. By organising transport in a more intelligent manner as part of the supply chain, we can contribute to our sustainability goals. The Limburg Express offers the right solution for this. Its high reliability and frequency makes it possible for us to provide our customers with the service they expect. And by making use of inland shipping, we can reduce our carbon footprint. We look forward to an expansion of the connections!”
Sabic in Sittard-Geleen is also highly enthusiastic about the collaboration. Frans van de Water: “By using the Limburg Express, we are guaranteed a fixed handling in Rotterdam. This means we can rest assured that our containers are available on time for the departure of the shipping line, and therefore also that they reach our customers on time. In that sense, the Limburg Express provides a solution to a problem that causes us a great deal of inconvenience as a large international shipper: uncertainty about the moment of handling of container barges in the sea port. We warmly applaud the development of Limburg Express 2.0, so that we can also have other container flows handled reliably in the port of Rotterdam.”
Limburg Express 2.0 is applauded by many companies, it would be great if this could be realised. With Limburg Express 2.0, the partners see opportunities to start transporting even more containers by inland shipping!