Belgium – Czech Republic rail link completes B Logistics Green Xpress Network
13 April 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
The first direct rail link between Belgium and the Czech Republic has begun completing the European Green Xpress Network developed by B Logistics.
With the aim to generate a modal shift to rail, B Logistics has developed the 7th link of its Green Xpress Network. The link will offer services between Belgium and the Czech Republic for the first time addressing demands from customers in the steel and chemical sectors and the intermodal market.
Green Xpress Network to provide Belgium – Czech Republic freight rail service for the first time
According to B Logistics, the new service will provide greater reliability by limiting the number of shunting movements during the trip and covering nearly the entire trip with the same locomotive. The trains will run according to a fixed schedule, so that customers know exactly the departure and arrival times (siding to siding). In addition, the product will be monitored by an Xpress team who will update customers about their transports in real time.
The Czech Xpress now links Antwerp North (and Kinkempois) (departure on Tuesday and Thursday) twice a week with Usti nad Labem (departure on Wednesday and Friday). The frequency will be increased in this quarter to 3 roundtrips per week. The train takes 24 hours to go from marshalling yard to marshalling yard. B Logistics and CD Cargo are partners regarding production and each of them markets this connection from its own organisation.
Initially, the Czech Xpress will transport mostly conventional loads. Port of Antwerp selected this new connection in response to a Request for Proposals (RfP) to expand the rail offer between Belgium and Central and Eastern Europe. This means that the Czech Xpress can count on support from the port to open the link up further for intermodal loads in this quarter, and to increase the frequency to 5 roundtrips per week as soon as possible.
“We have set an ambitious goal: modal shift to rail”
Sam Bruynseels, Chief Commercial Officer, B Logistics said: “The Green Xpress Network which we launched at the beginning of last year with the Swiss Xpress, is now starting to take shape as a streamlined and stable European network of quality connections, with Belgium as a nodal point. The products meet the demands of customers to the full: short transit times, reliability and transparency. Our Xpress trains actually drive with an average punctuality of 95%, which is unrivalled in the market. This is one of the reasons why we managed to generate profitable growth for the first time in 2015. I am convinced that we can consolidate that growth with this sustainable, first-rate solutions at market prices, and appeal to new customers who do not use rail at this time.”
Geert Pauwels, CEO, B Logistics, adds: “Now that the future of B Logistics has been secured, we have set an ambitious goal: modal shift to rail. We want to provide a thorough and sustainable alternative to road transport because we think it is important to make a contribution on the environment and mobility front. And we can do that by bringing more volumes to rail. So we continue to set the standards of for rail freight. B Logistics wants to make the choice for rail self-evident for industrial and logistics companies by offering rail products which are better than other transport solutions in terms of completeness, quality, run time, ease and cost. We have shown in that past that our organisation is capable of really great things when we put our mind to it, so I have no doubt that we will be able to make a difference here too, together with our customers.”