Cargobeamer AG of Leipzig will receive around €7M towards the project’s estimated €32.6M cost from the European Commission under the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Program
The total CEF fund, under TEN-V, is worth a total of €24B between 2014 and 2020. Additional support for the terminal worth another €7M is coming from the local Calais administration, the Regional government (Hauts-de-France) and the French government, leaving Cargobeamer and its backers to finance 60% of the project.
This is outside the port zone, so does not have the same high level of protection, but is directly alongside the A16 motorway and is ideally located for Channel tunnel freight traffic, as well as businesses that are setting up in the ZAC, for which the future availability of an intermodal rail option is expected to be a key draw.
It means Calais has "two strings to its bow" – VIIA inside the port caters for ferry traffic and Cargobeamer will deal with the other key element of the Dover/Folkestone-Calais truck links.
It can, of course, also cater for trucks coming from the port (ca 7 kms away). Much will depend on the destination of Cargobeamer’s services and how thy compare with those from VIIA - Le Boulou (for Spain) and Torino. It is understood that Cargobeamer is planning services to Milan and Germany.
In 2018 more than 3.6M accompanied trucks used the ferries and Eurotunnel combined.
Cargobeamer’s patented horizontal transport system allows non-cranable trailers to be transferred to rail via a platform that the truck driver simply drives onto before detaching the fifth wheel connection. It is not known whether Cargobeamer will employ terminal tractors. This would enable the trailers to be handed over as soon as the truck arrived in the terminal, freeing up the road tractor and the driver immediately. Certainly, this is the approach taken by VIIA at all its Modalohr terminals, including Calais Port.
The platform is also a DIN lifting device, similar to NiKrasa, but it is understood that there will be no lo-lo handing equipment in the terminal, and only the horizontal technique will be used. Using this mode, it is claimed that a 750m long train can be loaded or discharged in just 20 minutes.
The terminal in Calais will occupy 5.7-ha, and will be equipped with 18 automated Cargobeamer handling modules and have 150 parking slots for trucks. Capacity is estimated at 800 trailers per day. Terminal size can be doubled under a planned phase 2, after 2023.
Cargobeamer AG bought the site in June 2018 and received the green light for the construction in April 2019.The building period is calculated from early 2020 to 2022. The development is being managed by Calais Promotion, the local Economic Development Agency, which is chaired by Natacha Bouchart, the town’s Mayor.