With certain business sectors picking up again after the Covid-19 measures, the Alsace Rotterdam Express adds a second stop at the RWG terminal on the Maasvlakte to the schedule.
“Particularly the flows in consumer products are growing,” explains Maik Bastian, general manager of the Intermodal division of Haeger & Schmidt Logistics. “What also contributes to the increasing volumes on our train is the offer of onward transport from Kehl to Switzerland per barge. This also mainly concerns consumer goods, such as clothing, food and electronics.”
The direct rail connection between Rotterdam and Strasbourg/Kehl, an initiative of the C3C collaboration between Haeger & Schmidt Logistics, Danser Group and Ultra-Brag, started in 2015 and has three weekly round trips. In the fall of 2019, a trial was conducted with four services, but that turned out to be a bit too much. Bastian: "However, we can still use that option on demand."
Choice and flexibility
The current capacity of the container shuttle is 270 TEU per week in both directions, with calls at all deepsea terminals on the Maasvlakte and from mid-June twice a week at RWG. From the French Alsace and the German Baden-Württemberg a lot of paper, wine and beer is transported to Rotterdam, as well as automotive products. From Rotterdam it is a diverse cargo that goes eastbound.
In addition to the transport solutions that are already offered per barge, this gives shipping companies, forwarders and direct shippers choice and flexibility. That seems to be a success. By train, the cargo arrives at its destination within 24 hours; one to two days faster than by water. In addition, the railways are, of course, a good alternative in times of low water.