Growth of 3.5% (35,000 shipments or 70,000 TEU equivalent) would have been higher but for the 7-week closure of the rhine Valley route near Rastatt
The development of transports during the past year was impacted by a number of external factors. While an increase of 8.3% compared to 2016 was achieved in the first six months, transportation was inhibited by substantial construction sites during the second half of the year, most notably the six-month closure of the Luino route between Bellinzona and Gallarate.
Once the Rhine valley route was reopened in early October, the situation normalised quickly.
Overall, Hupac achieved a 3.5% increase in transports in 2017. The Rastatt effect is noticeable not only in the statistics of transalpine transports through Switzerland, but also, in part, in non-transalpine transports, comprising the Switzerland import-export traffic via the Benelux-Switzerland routes.
Transalpine transports via France also increased (+13.0%), while transalpine transports via Austria declined slightly (-2.2%).
For 2018 Hupac expects demand to increase. Several infrastructure projects are in the pipeline, including the terminal projects in Milan Smistamento, Piacenza and Brescia. These are currently in the implementation phase and will provide new transhipment capacities when the 4m corridor opens up in 2020.
New rail concepts are in development, such as the diversification of the routings for the purpose of risk mitigation, as well as backup solutions for a more flexible handling of the growing disruptive factors impacting operations.
With respect to product development, the new connections Hannover-Novara and Zeebrugge CobelFret-Novara for the market segment of 4m trailers should be highlighted, says Hupac, as well as the daily shuttle between Singen and Cremona.
“With our partner Neska Intermodal we are developing connections between the terminal Köln Nord and Italy," said Hupac’s Managing Director Beni Kunz. "For the opening of the markets in Iran, the Caucasus and Central Asia, we rely on close cooperation with our partners“."
As of this month, Hupac is strengthening its south-east European transport axis with a twice-weekly Rotterdam/Duisburg-Istanbul (Halkali) service.