Ro-ro development in Constanta

In another clear sign that DP World is looking to link the supply chains across Europe, the Dubai-based company has signed an Memorandum of Understanding with Romania’s port of Constanta for a ro-ro and project cargo facility at the Black Sea port.

The new terminal is expected to be operational by the early summer of next year, confirmed Cosumin Carstea CEO of DP World Romania.

Mr Carstea admitted that the opportunity had arisen within the context of the Ukrainian war, which has resulted with Ukranian freight being diverted to other Black Sea ports, Constanta taking much of the new trade flow.

“The new terminal will handle one ship a day and that will accomodate roughly one-third unaccompanied trailers and two-thirds driver accompanied trucks. Trucks with a driver will head directly to the motorway network, but we expect the unaccompanied freight to be distributed by train,” explained Mr Carstea.

Rail links out of Constanta are excellent, according to the CEO, with an electrified line connecting to Novi Sad in Serbia and all the way to Regensburg in Germany, and beyond. That means the freight will have a very low carbon footprint, with up to two trains with 50 40ft trailers onboard or special trains that will handle up to 80 trailers, he said.

“We have three rail lines at Constanta of 600 metres each for loading so we can operate up to 45 services a week, but for the ro-ro operation, we expect two trains departures every day, which we can easily handle,” claimed Mr Carstea.

With a surface area of 160,000 sq metres, the facility will include an empty-container inspection depot, a project cargo facility, a 500m ro-ro berth and  a 40,000 sq metre terminal with a dedicated gate, featuring scanner technology to expedite cargo flow.

DP World already operates a container terminal at Constanta which it plans to expand with a 120,000 sq m logistics free zone, a 45,000 sq m warehouse, an empty-container inspection point and cargo handling facilities, including container stripping and stuffing.

The port is connected to the national electrified rail infrastructure and the A2 motorway, with Mihail Kogalniceanu Airport 35km away.

A series of inland container terminals across Europe will provide the link to Western Europe and will include an 82,000 sq m ICD with logistics park at Aiud, around 300km north-west of Constanta, which is expected to be operational next year, and another east of the Serbian city of Novi Sad.

The €30m Novi Sad development is due to be completed in 2024 and will link to the Black Sea via the Danube and its rail connections.

Daniil Melnychenko, data analyst at Odessa-based consultancy Informall, said: “The DP World investment aims to modernise and further develop the ro-ro terminal to boost cargo vessel traffic at the port of Constanta. This includes a new x-ray scanner at the ro-ro terminal, which is set to reduce the time needed for physical inspections and boost operational efficiency.

“However, no timeline of the project development has been provided so far,” he added.

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