Swissterminal expands intermodal portfolio with new barge service to Rotterdam and Antwerp

25. November 2020
Swissterminal expands intermodal portfolio with new barge service to Rotterdam and Antwerp

Swissterminal AG and its partner DP World have announced the introduction of a regular barge service from Basel-Kleinhüningen and Basel-Birsfelden to various deepsea terminals at the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, starting 1 January 2021.

With the launch of this new intermodal product, Swissterminal offers two roundtrips each week to Port of Antwerp and Port of Rotterdam. Both routes will go via the hub Germersheim (Germany), which is operated by DP World. The new service will begin with two feeder barges, both with a 96 TEU capacity.

The two barges will connect the DP World hub in Germersheim with the Upper Rhine terminals. From the hub, customers’ cargo will be loaded onto DP World’s existing service, which is regularly operated with five of the logistic provider’s vessels.

By offering a new barge service, Swissterminal is expanding its range of intermodal connections between Europe’s largest container ports and the hinterland. In addition, the introduction of the barge connections provides customers a cost-effective, sustainable transport alternative. With a low fuel consumption and a high carrying capacity, this barge service is in line with Swissterminal’s commitment to offering environmentally friendly logistics solutions.

Barge arrivals and departures to/from Switzerland will happen twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The approximate transit time on both the Rotterdam and Antwerp routes is five days in both directions.

Swissterminal tested the barge service over a period of several weeks to establish the best service frequency and smooth operations. The launch of this new product is a continuation of the logistics specialist’s goal of establishing itself as Switzerland’s partner of choice for multimodal transport. Its rail subsidiary, Schweizerzug, already offers frequent rail connections to/from Port of Antwerp and Port of Rotterdam as well as other key economic centres throughout Europe and Asia. The introduction of the new barge service will give customers further flexibility when designing supply chain and transport flows.

In order to guarantee smooth processes at all times, Swissterminal works closely with customs clearance experts. These include full-service provider Gaston Schul, which is responsible for all matters relating to transit documentation in the two seaports of Rotterdam and Antwerp, VL Verzollung and Logistik AG are responsible for the efficient handling of Swiss imports and exports.

Roman Mayer, CEO of Swissterminal explains the market requirements for the new service: “We are seeing an increased demand for reliable connections to and from the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp. By adding barge services to our portfolio, we are offering our customers additional supply chain flexibility and resiliency, which has proven crucial during times of crisis and will continue to do so in the future.”

Swissterminal’s goal is to continuously develop its offering in order to proactively respond to market requirements. “We are in constant communication with our customers to identify their needs at a very early stage. This enables us to continually optimise our portfolio. With the launch of our new barge service, we feel confident that we will be ready to meet our customers’ future requirements,” says Mayer.