At the companies in Ghent port, quite a lot of goods are being transported from and to the hinterland. Transport of these goods by rail has increased to over 10%. Inland navigation transport takes up just more than half of this hinterland transport, which is a record. The share of road transport continues to decrease. This becomes clear from the investigation by Ghent Port Company about the use of all transport possibilities from and to its hinterland in 2015.
Since a few years now, rail transport has again been on the rise. In 2015, with more than 10%, the biggest volume of goods has been transported by rail since six years. As a matter of fact, Ghent Port Company has been focusing on rail for several years now. Port of Ghent is indeed a hub for two European rail corridors: from Rotterdam to Marseille (the RFC2) and over the Alps up to Italy (the RFC1). Moreover, the larger part of the quays is equipped with railway tracks. When developing the Kluizendok, a rail bundle has been invested in to preselect wagons. Lately, a new rail line has been installed between the recently opened Distrilog distribution centre at the WDPort of Ghent Logistic Park and the container terminal at the Kluizendok. Every day, a container train leaves from the Kluizendok to the North Italian city of Mortara near Milan.
The importance of rail transport can at once be felt at a lot of companies in times of rail strikes: from trains that cannot depart or arrive to looking for other transport possibilities by road or inland navigation.
New record for hinterland transport by inland navigation
Transport from and to the hinterland by inland navigation registered a new record: with 50.2%, inland navigation takes up just more than half of the total hinterland traffic. This is an improvement of the previous record year 2012 when the 50% mark was passed for the first time.
Share of road transport is diminishing
Finally, road transport ends up at a share of 39.6% of this cargo traffic. This is more than 5% less than in 2014 and the lowest figure since this investigation has been started.
Focus on sustainable transport
Ghent Port Company is focusing on making its cargo traffic with the hinterland more sustainable. By 2020, the Port Company aims at 15% of rail transport and a share of 35% by road. The 50% via inland navigation that was aimed at, was passed in 2015 for the second time.
Yearly investigation into transport possibilities
Every year, Ghent Port Company investigates how goods are supplied and conveyed to and from the companies in the port from and to its hinterland. Is that by rail, by inland vessels or by truck on the road? In this way, Ghent Port Company maps out the transport generated by companies that register at least 20,000 tonnes of cargo traffic per year in the port. The most recent figures deal with the year 2015. The first investigation was on the year 2009.
Because of its location in Western Europe and owing to its infrastructure, port of Ghent is a multimodal port. Goods that enter the port are forwarded onwards by seagoing vessel, inland vessel, train, truck and even by pipeline. This mix of possibilities is a strong asset.