Rhine-Alpine News

Germany: Federal „Innovationsprogramm Logistik 2030“ updated

Photo (BMVI): Steffen Bilger, vice minister and the German federal government’s coordinator for goods transport and logistics

With the Rhine-Alpine corridor running through Germany, the position of the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure on corridor related issues is key for many corridor related actors and their activities. These days, the ministry has updated its “Innovationsprogramm Logistik 2030” under the leadership of Steffen Bilger, vice minister (“Staatssekretär”) and the German federal government’s coordinator for goods transport and logistics.

A general explanation of the action plan can be found here (external link).

The program has 10 fields of action. (Please note that these are not official translations):

1: Digital infrastructures, data processing and platform solutions.

2: Digital transport management across transport modes – digital supply chain.

3: Professional world of the future.

4: Steering towards climate protection with innovative goods transport.

5: Interlinked transport world.

6: Clever track, intelligent railway.

7: Intelligent ports and waterways.

8: Innovative air cargo.

9: Road of the future.

10: Ways for the last mile.

Each field of action comes with a set of targets and intended measures. They are explained here (external link, German language).

A main purpose of such a program is to focus the work of a ministry. Any idea or request that reaches the ministry in this field may have better chances if it aligns with the program’s fields of action, its targets, and/or its proposed measures.

Therefore, please find the complete program here (external link, German language).

Photo (Martin Brandt): Combined transport on the Rhine; container ship towing transport barge with new trucks

Rhine-Alpine News

« Diamond » crossing now in monitoring process

Photo (Province of Zuid-Holland): Traffic on the « diamond » motorway crossing

This newsletter on 28 May 2019 reported about the opening of an innovative motorway crossing along the RijnlandRoute in Leiden (Netherlands), called the « diamond ». Meanwhile, it is carefully watched for adaptions that may be necessary.

More information on this external link (Dutch language)

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Brussels, 10 October 2019: « Green and Smart Mobility: new solutions for the mobility of the future »

What are the newest solutions carmakers and service providers are coming up with to solve technological challenges regarding battery electric and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles?
How can deployment of shared, clean, smart and on demand mobility solutions for people and freight help cities in dealing with congestion, better use of space, livability, clean air and inclusion? How are policy makers managing the infrastructural and industrial transition involving these new technologies?

The Verband Region Rhein-Neckar will organize a joint event with the provinces of Flemish-Brabant and North Brabant on the topic of « Green & Smart Mobility: New Solutions for the Mobility of the Future », held at the representation of Baden-Württemberg State in Brussels on 10 October 2019.

Join the event if you want to discuss the above issues.

Please find the invitation with more details here (programme and registration, external link)

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Brexit: Antwerp and UK strongly linked to each other

Photo: Port of Antwerp

Each year over 16 million tonnes of cargo are being transported between the Port of Antwerp and the UK. This makes the UK the second maritime trade partner of the Port of Antwerp. Conversely, the largest market for the United Kingdom is still continental Europe. “Brexit creates new opportunities. The modal shift from accompanied to unaccompanied transport in particu­lar, puts Port of Antwerp, as the second-largest port in Europe, at the advantage to become the gateway to and from Europe for the UK and Ireland”, says Wim Dillen, Brexit task force president, Antwerp Port Authority.

Read more here (external link)

Rhine-Alpine News

Railways: Water instead of herbicides

Photo (SBB): Test train for vegetation control

Railways use herbicides on a large scale to keep their track free of weeds. In the past years, these chemicals were under attack because they may cause cancer. Therefore, railways are looking for alternatives. Along the Rhine-Alpine corridor, the work of Swiss national railways (SBB) may exemplify this trend: SBB tests equipment that will detect unwanted plants and fight them with hot water instead of chemicals. A detailed report can be found here:

External link (German language)

External link (French language)

External link (Italian language)

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Project H2SHIPS launched for hydrogen bunkering and propulsion for shipping

The project H2SHIPS will demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of hydrogen bunkering and propulsion for shipping and will identify the conditions for successful market entry for the technology. Two pilot projects will be implemented as part of H2SHIPS: A new hydrogen powered port vessel will be built in Amsterdam and in Belgium a H2 refuelling systemsuitable for open sea operation will be developed and tested. A further major output will be an action plan for the implementation of an H2SHIPS pilot on the river Seine in Paris in 2022. H2SHIPS will demonstrate the added-value of H2 for water transport and develop a blueprint for its adoption across North-West Europe, avoiding considerable GHG-emissions. The project is co-financed by the Interreg North-West Europe programme of the European Union. Several institutions from along the Rhine-Alpine corridor take part.

Read more about the project here (external link)

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Antwerp: Shore power for barges

 

Photo (Port of Antwerp): Inland barges around a terminal

Antwerp Port Authority has installed nine onshore power connection points, so that barges can draw electricity while they are at berth.

Click here for details (external link)

Rhine-Alpine News

 Start of “enerPort” Project – duisport as a model for other inland ports

Photo: © duisport (Hans Blossey)

In a first step, the Port of Duisburg defines the energy issues which are supposed to be optimized. In the next step, the two project partners develop transferable solutions for other inland ports and a master concept for improved energy use / supplies.

Click here for more info (external link)

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Newspaper « La Stampa »: Increase in freight traffic on the corridor causes conflicts with citizens in Domodossola

Train whistles disturb the sleep of the inhabitants of Domodossola and the mayor starts with the protests. « I ask for an evaluation to be made to see if the night whistle is absolutely necessary for the safety of train transit. The number of trains between Domodossola and Switzerland has risen to more than 130 per day and it is natural to ask for a reduction in, at least, acoustic pollution. Some residents are even considering the idea of ​​moving », says mayor Lucio Pizzi in a letter sent to the Italian Agency for railway safety.

Click here for the online article (external link, Italian language)

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Sailing low, loading high: Contargo prepares for the next extreme summer

Symbolic illustration: Contargo

Container hinterland logistics network Contargo has taken the precautionary measure of having four barges in its fleet modified so that they have 10-15 cm more water beneath the keel in very low water conditions. At two boatyards in Antwerp and Dordrecht, metal plates have been welded onto four vessels  in such a way that they now have to sit only 130 cm instead of 150 cm deep in order for their propellers to have enough water. Thanks to this investment of approximately 10,000 euro per vessel, the barges can now sail in the same water levels with 10-15 cm more water beneath the keel, and can thus transport 200-300 tons more cargo in low water.

Click here for the full article (external link)

Rhine-Alpine News

H-vision kicks off the hydrogen economy in Rotterdam

Symbolic graphics: Port of Rotterdam

The large-scale production and utilisation of blue hydrogen will allow local industry in Rotterdam to substantially reduce its CO2 emissions, well before 2030. This is one of the main conclusions of the feasibility study carried out by 16 companies and organisations, under the guidance of Deltalinqs, within the H-vision project.

Click here for details (external link)

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New info about Rastatt tunnel works

Special newsletter by Deutsche Bahn on upper Rhine rail issues, see link below

Deutsche Bahn these days updated the public about the work on the Rastatt tunnel. Construction had been interrupted following the accident of 12 August 2017. Most important: It is not planned to interrupt the railway line during the construction, and completion is scheduled for 2025.

Through the link below, you get access to the press statement (in German language) and a presentation that is also in German language, but mainly self-explaining. You can also download a special newsletter on this topic and subscribe to the regular newsletter on issues regarding railway construction along the upper Rhine.

Click here for details (external link, German language)

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Karlsruhe: Study to support revitalization of rail link across Rhine

Photo (Roehrensee, under creative commons license): Existing bridge at Wintersdorf

A historical rail link across the Rhine between Rastatt in Germany and Haguenau in France, connecting the region within the triangle of Karlsruhe, Strasbourg and Saarbrücken, may be revived. These days, money from regional and federal sources was assigned for a feasibility study. While most of the infrastructure is still in place, the existing bridge has not seen rail traffic since 1965. Because of structural weakness, currently only light cars are allowed on the former railway bridge.

Click here for details (external link, German language)

Rhine-Alpine News

 Rotterdam: Creating the Container Exchange Route (CER)

Screenshot from video (see link below)

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is creating the Container Exchange Route (CER). The CER (formally known as the internal track) links Maasvlakte’s container companies and allows the companies to minimise the cost of container exchanges. This improves their respective hinterland and transshipment products and strengthens Rotterdam’s competitive position as a container hub. The CER bundles container flows – meaning that trains, barges and feeder vessels no longer have to call on all terminals individually.

You can find videos about construction of the CER as well as an information brochure via this external link

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Genoa: Record container throughput

Photo (Ports of Genoa): Containers in port

An all-time monthly record teu throughput registered in June by the Ports of Genoa: container traffic peaked, a total of 241,466 teus, pointing to the recovery already announced in the second term of 2019 (a +2.9% gain on last year’s comparable period), after a sluggish start. The Port of Genoa handled 1,327,800 teus in the first six months of the year, close to the levels reached in the first half of 2018 (-1.2%), with a rise of 45,000 teus on the corresponding period of 2017 (+3.4%), a record year for the Ligurian port.

Click here for details (external link)

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Inner city of Cologne limits truck transit

From mid-August, truck transit in inner Cologne will be limited to fixed routes. Limitations will apply for all tucks with more than 7.5t gross weight and are intended to improve air quality.

Click here for details (external link, German language)

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duisport welcomes 22 new apprentices – The port expands its training program

Photo (© krischerfotografie): duisport Chief Executive Officer Erich Staake, welcomed the apprentices at their first day at duisport

This year, duisport is training the largest group of apprentices in the company’s history. duisport Chief Executive Officer Erich Staake, who welcomed the apprentices, notes that the Port of Duisburg has been certified as an “Excellent Training Facility” for the past three years. This year, the “Welcome Days” replace the former orientation days for apprentices by ensuring communication across locations and hierarchies to facilitate the apprentices’ entry into the organization.

Click here for the full article (external link)

Rhine-Alpine News

Two new tracks at the Genoa Prà Rail Freight yard

Photo (Western Ligurian Sea Port Authority): Container terminal at Genoa port

The first stage of the expansion of the rail-freight handling capacity in Genoa Prà, a six-month 25-million euro investment programme, has been completed. Plans are afoot to upgrade the four existing rail tracks and the installation of a double-rail track route to the PSA Genova Prà Terminal. By January 2020 the second direct on-terminal rail link with the railway network is scheduled to open. The new six-track configuration, with an average length of 450 m and a double-track route to the PSA-operated terminal, will increase the number of daily trains serving the Port of Prà, thereby further expanding overall capacity of the leading container gateway terminal in the Mediterranean.

Click here for the full article (external link)

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Containers drive throughput growth in port of Rotterdam

Photo (Port of Rotterdam Authority): Container ship arriving in port

The port of Rotterdam achieved throughput of 240.7 million tonnes in the first six months of 2019. That is 3.4% more than in the first six months of 2018. Container throughput, one of the strategic priorities of the Port Authority, rose by 4.8% (in tonnes, +6.4% in TEU) by comparison with the first six months of 2018, which is also a new throughput record. That growth was mainly due to higher import and transhipment volumes. Revenue from port dues, and rental and leasehold income from issued land, increased slightly, leading to a rise in revenue of 4.0% to € 357.8 million, with liquid bulk making the largest contribution. Partly because operating expenses rose less than revenue, the result from ordinary activities before taxation improved by 7.0% to € 134.8 million.

Click here for details (external link)

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Milano-Xi’an Freight Express – Strategic Cooperation Agreement

Photo (HUPAC): Lian Gui, standing vice governor of Shaanxi Province, leaders and authorities participating in activities in Shaanxi Province and Xi’an City; Félix Baumann, general consul of the Swiss Confederation; Silvia Volpato, director of navigation, intermodality and territorial development for the Lombardy Region; Paola Magugliani, assessor for culture of Busto Arsizio and Andrea Cassani, mayor of Gallarate. Hupac was represented by Michail Stahlhut, CEO of Hupac Intermodal and Alberto Grisone, director Development Russia & CIS countries.

The Xi’an International Port Area and Swiss intermodal operator Hupac launch their cooperation aimed at boosting rail freight transportation between Italy and China. On 19 July, the first train Milan-Xi’an left the Terminal Busto Arsizio-Gallarate. Hupac pursues a strategy of developing the intercontinental east-west axis as a natural integration to its traditional markets in Europe. With branch offices in Moscow since 2011 and in Shanghai since 2016, and with the procurement of own rolling stock for the Russian broad gauge, Hupac has prepared the ground for new business areas in the East and Far East. The Busto Arsizio-Gallarate terminal acted as a logistical platform for this new challenge.

Click here for the full article (external link)

Rhine-Alpine News

duisport feels world-wide clouding of the economy

Photo: © duisport/Hans Blossey

Container throughput at duisport in the first six months of 2019 was 1.96 m TEU. A slight decrease was caused mainly by safety related limitations in Scandinavia. Containers are the most important segment within duisport, with a share of 55% (and rising) of the total throughput, which was decreasing by 5% to 31 m tons.

Click here for the full article (external link, German language)

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Genova and its hinterland: Mr Rettighieri to be named special commissioner for “Terzo Valico”

The Italian Ministry of Transport and Regione Liguria officially proposed Mr Rettighieri to be named special commissioner for Terzo Valico, the rail node connecting Genova and Port of Genova with its hinterland. Within the main task of the commissioner will be coordination and speeding up of the works as well as deliberation of compensations to the territories involved by the infrastructure.

Mr Rettighieri is the President of COCIV, the General Contractor responsible for the design and construction of the high-speed railway line Milano – Genova, known as Terzo Valico, and has long experience and competence in the railway transport sector. Since February 2019, Rettighieri is also responsible for implementing the “Extraordinary program of urgent investments for the recovery and development of the port of Genova”.

Click here for the full article (external link, Italian language)

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Best quarter ever for Port of Antwerp

Photo: © Port of Antwerp

The total freight volume handled by Port of Antwerp was up 0.7% during the first six months compared with the same period last year, itself already a record half.

After two absolute record months, April and May, with more than 1 million TEU, Port of Antwerp closed the second quarter with a strong month in June. Result: a record volume on a quarterly basis. The continued growth in the number of containers and the volume of dry bulk in particular compensated for the decline in other, more market-sensitive sectors such as liquid bulk and breakbulk. This was achieved despite the slow-down in European growth and uncertainty in the market. Greater transhipment continues to drive the Antwerp container business upwards.

Click here for details (external link)

Rhine-Alpine News

Workshop on transport along corridor held in Cologne

Photo (Rhineland Metropolitan Region ): Workshop activities in Cologne

The Rhineland Metropolitan Region held a workshop in Cologne for the EGTC Rhine-Alpine about the state of transport developments along the Rhine-Alpine corridor, the backbone of transport between the ZARA ports and Genova, connecting all regions in between. Main focus of the workshop was on passenger and freight traffic between Rhineland and the Netherlands.

Click here for the full article (external link, German language)

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duisport builds rail terminal in Great Stone – The Port of Duisburg consolidates its leading position in the trade with China

By making additional investments and entering into cooperation agreements, Duisburger Hafen AG (duisport) continues to expand its leading position in central Europe for the trade with China along the corridors of the “Belt & Road” initiative. In early 2018, duisport acquired a minority stake in the development company for the world’s largest industrial and logistic park Great Stone near the city of Minsk in Belarus. On the basis of this participating interest, a rail terminal (including a logistics areal) will be built in Great Stone on the initiative / under the leadership of duisport together with its partners China Merchants China-Belarus, the Belarus state-owned railway and the Swiss company Hupac. The corresponding agreement was signed in Minsk. duisport is the largest inland container port in the EU, with many scheduled train services to China.

Click here for the full article (external link)

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“Third Pass”: Breakthrough of the “Tunnel of Crenna”!

Symbolic photo (Martin Brandt): Drilling head of tunnel boring machine

Another step towards the completion of an essential part of the Rhine-Alpine Corridor has been accomplished. The “Third Pass of Giovi”, which is the third railway line built through the coastal mountains and the hinterland of Genova, will connect the Po valley basin to the Port of Genova via a base tunnel allowing a competitive railway connection.

Click here for the full article (external link, Italian language)

Rhine-Alpine News

Port of Rotterdam Authority and State of Rhineland-Palatinate demand greater speed in improving Rhine corridor efficiency

Photo (Port of Rotterdam): Volker Wissing and Emile Hoogsteden in Rotterdam

Transport Minister Volker Wissing from the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate visited the Port of Rotterdam as part of a three-day delegation trip to the Netherlands. Wissing and Emile Hoogsteden, Vice President of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, emphasised the importance of the Rhine Corridor and its ports for the transport of goods to Rhineland-Palatinate and Europe as a whole.

“With the expansion of Europe’s largest seaport and the doubling of container throughput, the capacity of hinterland transport must also be increased, » said Transport Minister Wissing and Port Vice President Hoogsteden. “The low water levels of 2018 have revealed the urgent need to expand the role of the Rhine as the central European transport and logistics axis,” Wissing added.

Click here for the full article (external link)

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Action plan „Niedrigwasser Rhein“ (low water level on the Rhine) presented

Photo (Martin Brandt): Rhine traffic during low water period

The action plan „Niedrigwasser Rhein“ (low water level on the Rhine) was presented by German federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer on 4 July. It was developed together with companies depending on water transport on the Rhine and includes eight measures, from more suitable barges to faster improvements of infrastructure.

Click here for details (external link, German language)

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Spectacular accident on the Rhine

Photos (2) by Rheinland-Pfalz state police: Damaged barge at Andernach

On 2 July, a spectacular accident happened on the Rhine: A motor barge gave way and snapped while loading rocks in Andernach port, in the scenic but narrow Rhine valley. Water police halted all traffic for some hours to avoid further damage by waves. The barge was stabilized by lighting and pumping out all water, it was then towed into the inner harbour. The reasons for the accident were not immediately known.

Click here for the full article (external link, German language)