“Rijeka Land Sea Express”
“Rijeka Land Sea Express” – a new maritime and intermodal service of the port of Rijeka to the countries of Central Europe was officially presented at the Adriatic Gate container terminal operated by the Adriatic Gate Company (AGCT). The organizers of the new service are COSCO Shipping Lines, China’s largest and one of the world’s largest container shipping companies, and Ocean Rail Logistics, the company responsible for rail transportation within the COSCO Group.
The new intermodal service consists of a regular weekly shipping line connecting the Greek Piraeus, the main hub of COSCO for the Mediterranean, with Rijeka and the line-coordinated railway services – block trains for container transport on the lines between Rijeka and Budapest, as well as Rijeka and Belgrade. Through Rijeka’s Land Sea Express, COSCO offers its clients 32-day travel requests from East China to Budapest and 28 days from South China to Budapest, connecting overseas and rail services and using Piraeus and Rijeka as transhipment ports.
The project started in March this year, with the joint work of COSCO Shipping line from China and Europe, and the companies Dragon Maritime, PEARL, Ocean Rail Logistics, Express, HZ Cargo, Rail Cargo Operator – Hungaria, BILK, Transagent and Adriatic Gate, and In the first three months alone, more than three and a half thousand containers were shipped through the Rijeka container terminal through the new service. Next year, at least 16,000 TEUs (the equivalent of a twenty-foot container) are expected to be delivered via the Rijeka Land Sea Express.
The ceremony was attended by Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, President of COSCO Shipping Lines for Europe Sun Jun, Executive director of the Port of Rijeka Authority Denis Vukorepa, as well as representatives of the Adriatic Gate j.s.c., companies within the COSCO Group, and service providers on the Rijeka traffic route.
In his address to the gathering, Minister Butković said that the new intermodal service is in line with the strategic goals of the Republic of Croatia.
– This is an increase in traffic in intermodal services, with an emphasis on rail, sea, air and inland waterway transport. We are looking forward to such business moves, as well as the increase in traffic in the port of Rijeka, especially the container traffic.
Last year and this year an excellent result was achieved in the port in terms of import and export ratio, as well as the increase in container traffic. This is the motif for a stronger and faster development of the port, which we perceive as the intermodal center of the Northern Adriatic. We have initiated a number of projects at the port of Rijeka, the most significant of which is the construction of a new Zagreb Deep Sea container terminal, completed this year.
The new terminal, with investments from a future concessionaire, will have the capacity of one million TEUs and the ability to accommodate the latest generation of container vessels.
This new service is an incentive for Rijeka port, which has a great perspective, especially through further investments in the development of the railway network, and this potential has been recognized by COSCO, with whom we have been cooperating for ten years. COSCO made a strong impression on us in January when the Croatian government delegation visited China, and I believe this project will open the door to further and even greater cooperation, said Butkovic.
After greeting the guests with “Dobar dan” in Croatian, COSCO Shipping Line President for Europe Sun Jun said that Croatia has always been a link between East and West.
– In this beautiful country Marco Polo was born , the writer of extraordinary stories about the Silk Road that continues to inspire us today in connecting the East with the West. Croatia is well known to the Chinese, as is Rijeka, which will be the European Capital of Culture next year.
We are also aware of your great success at last year’s World Cup, when Croatia was second, which we admire. Today, we announce a new intermodal service that supports COSCO Shipping Lines with a new shipping line between Piraeus and Rijeka, along with Ocean Rail Logistics and all other participants who I thank for the new East-West connection. There is a lot of hard but fruitful work behind us and we are confident of further developing this traffic route, Sun Jun said.
Rijeka is the only container port for the new route launched by this service, stated the executive director of the Port Authority Vukorepa, adding that the new intermodal service is a huge occasion for the port of Rijeka and the whole of Croatia.
– In the first three months of the testing work, we had more than one hundred block trains within the Rijeka Land Sea Express service, eighty between Rijeka and Budapest, and more than twenty on the Rijeka – Belgrade line. The most important result for Rijeka’s port, traffic route and AGCT as a container terminal operator is the strong opening of the Hungarian market, and I am sure that the effects will be even greater in the coming months and years.
Especially when the project of a new intermodal railway terminal next to the container terminal, worth EUR 36 million, is underway, with ongoing work and, when completed, next year, it will provide even more intermodal transport capacity at the Rijeka port.
Last year alone, we had a growth of twenty percent of container traffic, with a 40 percent increase in container transportation by rail, with the share of total container transport from and to the port being 35 percent and continuing to grow, Vukorepa said, concluding that the port authority shall continue to provide full support to this project and be available “24/7”.