Duisburg is to get a new 850,000 TEU intermodal terminal aimed at New Silk Route China trade
Scheduled for opening in 2022, the investment of about €100M will be borne by Duisburg’s port authority Duisport, Cosco Shipping Logistics, Swiss rail container operator Hupac and HTS Group, a Dutch inland shipping company. The shares split will be 30/30/20/20 respectively. Dubbed Duisburg Gateway Terminal, the trimodal facility is expected to handle 100 China o/d container trains per week.
The new terminal is to be built on the so-called Kohleninsel (Coal Island) – actually a peninsula. Coal handling will cease there in 2020 and the transformation works will then begin.
On build-out after phase 2, Duisburg Gateway Terminal will occupy 24-ha, of which 22-ha for the rail container terminal, including a 6-ha CY and 2-ha of CFS/warehousing. Six gantry cranes will work 12 730m long full train tracks. Five inland vessels can be handled simultaneously with berthing bays available for a further three. The new terminal will be one dock away from the KV Terminal Duisburg-Ruhrort, Duisburg’s oldest intermodal terminal, albeit without barge facilities.
Duisburg currently handles 35-40 trains per week to/from 12 centres in China. With the new terminal, Europe’s leading inland port aspires to strengthen its role as Europe’s inland China hub, already accounting for 30% of all China-Europe railfreight. In addition to serving the national market, Duisburg is the leading railfreight hub for Eastern and Southern Europe. As the same applies to its inland barge and rail connections with the North Sea mainports, Duisburg could be considered one of the "Westports" featuring Rotterdam, Antwerp and Amsterdam.
A cost-effective alternative to airfreight, Silk Route trains have a significantly smaller carbon footprint. Duisport estimates that the planned new terminal will save an annual 60 Mt of carbon dioxide emissions compared to airfreight, but it is not clear how this stacks up to container traffic transferring from all-water to rail landbridge.
In the picture above, the Coal Island peninsula is right of centre, in Duisburg-Ruhrort. The River Ruhr (foreground) joins the River Rhine (Ieft) - photo looking due north. Photo: Duisport.