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Icelandic shipping line and multimodal operator Samskip has launched a direct rail service between the Italian rail freight hub of Melzo and Amsterdam.
The aim is to build on the Dutch port’s new strategy of targeting shortsea intra-Europe volumes.
The thrice-weekly service will see the 750-metre trains arrive at Amsterdam’s TMA Logistics’ Holland Cargo Terminal (HCT), after a 24-hour trip, to link up with Samksip’s shortsea vessel departures to Hull.
“This will create a seamless multimodal option to minimise post-Brexit border control issues”, it said.
Adding rail capacity along a key unitised freight route “demonstrates Samskip’s commitment to enhancing the competitiveness of its UK-Italy multimodal offer as the reality of Brexit approaches”, said Samskip UK trade manager David Besseling.
“Samskip now offers ten sailings a week connecting Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Antwerp with Hull,” said Mr Besseling. “Connecting the port of Amsterdam with rail services to/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.
“Services will benefit door-to-door and quay-to-quay customers,” he added. “Increasing frequency creates additional opportunities to balance volumes, playing into multimodal’s competitive edge.
“Space available for third parties will interest supply chain decision-makers, not just in Italy, the Netherlands and the UK, but in the wider Benelux territories, Germany and Scandinavia too,” Mr Besseling added.
Samskip said it had performance guarantees in place with its terminal operations partners, covering fast turn times for vessels, trucks and rail services.
Gerben Matroos, MD of TMA Logistics, added: “This connection will make optimum use of the facilities our terminal has to offer. The service addition is also the next logical step to position Amsterdam as a shortsea port.”
Femke Brenninkmeijer, director of energy, cargo & offshore at Amsterdam, said: “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.”
Together with the six trains a week departing Melzo for Rotterdam, Samksip now operates nine trains a week between Italy and Holland, although the trains to Amsterdam and Rotterdam run on different routes.