CargoBeamer opens terminal in Calais
Companies' first terminal launched in France
The Leipzig-based logistics service provider CargoBeamer has put its first full terminal into operation on Saturday. With the opening the company puts its patented and horizontal shifting technology for semi-trailers towards rail into service at the regular market for the first time. Four roundtrips will be operated on the lane between Calais and Perpignan in southern France, with at least one more destination to join until the end of the year.
With its location close to the port of Calais and the important Channel Tunnel towards the British Isles, the transhipment facility in supposed to serve as an important cornerstone in the company’s international route network. A first domestic French lane to Perpignan close to the Spanish-French border CargoBeamer enables intermodal transport towards the Mediterranean Sea and Iberian Peninsula. After a one-week starting phase with two weekly roundtrips, the route will be operated with four roundtrips per week permanently. Euro Cargo Rail (ECR), a French subsidiary of DB Cargo, serves as cooperation partner. Each train offers a total of 36 seats for trailers, which consist of 24 special CargoBeamer-railcars and six usual double pocket wagons. Besides the French corridor the Calais terminal also aims to provide intermodal transport streams towards Central and Eastern Europe. For this reason, a new route between Calais and Domodossola in Northern Italy will be launched by the end of this year.
Handling of up to twelve train pairs per day
The terminal site in Calais allows CargoBeamer to handle six train pairs daily, which means six incoming and six departing trains per day. This results in a total of 432 semi-trailers for every day. A second expansion stage is scheduled for 2023 and will double the terminals capacity to a total of twelve daily train pairs. The shifting process of an entire freight train with simultaneous loading and unloading takes about 20 minutes. During the eleven-month construction period CargoBeamer was joined by French construction company Eiffage. Additionally, the project was backed financially by the EU with the Connecting Europe Facility (“CEF”), the France Republic and the region of Hauts-de-France.
“The opening of our first terminal is an important milestone and a real quantum leap for the development of our company. Here in Calais we are going to put our technology into regular market use for the first time and will continue to strengthen the modal shift of transports towards sustainable solutions such as rail. We therefore want to thank all our partners, sponsors and investors for their trust put in us and the good cooperation,” explains Hans-Jürgen Weidemann, CEO and founder of CargoBeamer. “We view our Calais site as the starting point and an important cornerstone of a Europe-spanning network of terminals and routes, forming an increasing number of connections towards Southern, Central and Eastern Europe by rail. Meanwhile the location of Calais promises a lot of potential with its maritime connections and the Channel Tunnel towards Britain. We are going to expand CargoBeamers route network continuously in the upcoming years and thus shift more semi-trailers from congested roads onto environmentally friendly rail.”
The CargoBeamer Group is a logistics service provider in the “combined transportation road-rail segment” based in Leipzig, Germany. Thanks to the company's technology of railcars, handling terminals and logistics software nearly all standard semi-trailers of all types can use the train – without additional conversions and reinforcements for the trailer and even without a driver and tractor unit. A first lane between Kaldenkirchen at the German/Dutch border and Domodossola in northern Italy has been offered with daily trains since 2015 and is fully utilized. In mid-2021 CargoBeamer launched two additional routes: between Duisburg and Poznan three trains depart from both locations per week, while four roundtrips are operated on the domestic French lane between Perpignan and the first CargoBeamer-terminal in Calais. In the medium-term CargoBeamer will realize a European route-network of high-performing and innovative transhipment facilities at important transport hubs. This will secure sustainable rail-transport for hundreds of thousands of semi-trailers per year – reducing CO2-emissions and relieving environment and society.
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