Samskip, a leading European logistics and shortsea company, this week launched a direct rail service between the port of Amsterdam and northern Italy, in a move that highlights the growing attraction of rail transport as the market-leading trucking sector faces mounting challenges.
The thrice-weekly, 24-hour service connecting the second-largest Dutch port with Melzo, a key freight hub 12 miles east of Milan, will deploy 750-meter (2,460-foot) trains.
“As well as avoiding the driver delays increasingly affecting European road transport, arrivals in Amsterdam coincide with Samskip’s shortsea departures to [the British port of] Hull, creating a seamless multimodal option to minimize post–Brexit [the UK’s departure from the European Union in March] border control issues,” the Iceland-based company said.
The new link joins a six-times-a-week train service connecting Melzo with Rotterdam, Europe’s top container port and Samskip’s largest hub, which handles its traffic to and from the UK, Ireland, Norway, Scandinavia, Russia, and the Baltic states.
The new Amsterdam link will provide greater service resilience for the Netherlands-Italy rail option as the connections to the two Dutch ports will run on different routes, enabling a flexible response to any rail-related or port-related delays, according to Samskip’s UK trade manager David Besseling.
What’s more, Samskip’s move is part of a broader European trend that’s boosting rail freight transport. Rail has an opportunity to increase market share amid the trucking sector's capacity/driver shortage concerns, and several projects are under way.
Guarantees with terminal operators for fast turn times
What’s more, the company has guarantees in place with terminal operators covering fast turn times for ships, trucks, and rail services.
“Connecting the port of Amsterdam with rail services to and from Italy three times a week puts a new pillar in place to support our fast, cost-efficient, and reliable multimodal services between the continent and the UK.”
Samskip transferred its main UK operation from Immingham to neighboring Hull in July, making the northeastern port its second-largest traffic hub, handling more than 100,000 containers a year.
“[The] port of Amsterdam is delighted to add this new train connection from Samskip, which contributes to our intermodal strategy and adds significant options for our clients. The service strengthens our shortsea connections and confirms Amsterdam port’s capabilities and position as a logistical and multimodal European hub,” said Femke Brenninkmeijer, the port’s energy, cargo, and offshore director.
Samskip also launched a new trailer service linking Europe with Russia, the Baltic states, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries earlier this month in the latest expansion of its intermodal services.
“Customers who are demanding faster transit times and transport requirements from any origin including those countries [that] are geographically close to Russia — Poland, Hungry, Slovakia, Belarus, Ukraine — and where it’s logically worth using trailers, can now be perfectly served by this new complementary product,” said Andrey Gryazev, Samskip’s managing director in Russia.
Samskip, which transports about 600,000 TEU a year by sea, rail, road, and barge, employs about 1,300 people in more than 20 countries.
Contact Bruce Banard at: email@example.com.