Information published on 25 October 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 520.

Belgium/Sweden: New direct rail service between Belgium & Sweden added to Green Xpress network

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The new Sweden Xpress is the 8th connection in the European Green Xpress Network of B Logistics (www.greenxpressnetwork.com). This type of innovative, high-quality rail products and customer-centric service is among the ways that B Logistics is giving a boost to intermodal and conventional rail transport in Europe. By increasing rail freight volumes, the company aims to make a difference in terms of the environment and mobility.

Created for intermodal, developed into a mixed product
The Sweden Xpress is the first Xpress route to be developed in response to demand from the intermodal market, but the train will be supplemented by conventional loads.

Average punctuality of the Xpress products is more than 95%, which is unrivalled in the marketplace. So Xpress services can be seamlessly integrated into the IFB intermodal network. By combining goods flows, a really competitive rail product will be brought onto the market, and the company is exploiting the advantages of rail to the full.

Xpress ingredients are a recipe for success: “Better, faster, smarter”
By limiting the number of shunting operations during the journey, and carrying out almost the entire trip with the same B Logistics locomotive, the service with the Xpress products is very reliable. The trains run to a fixed timetable, so that customers are completely familiar with the departure and arrival times (siding-to-siding). The products are tracked by a specific Xpress-team that provides the customer with real-time information about their shipments.

Xpress products are successful, and have already led to a number of customers making a modal shift. Sam Bruynseels, CCO B Logistics: “The products are just what the customer wants: a sustainable transport solution, with short transit times, high reliability and transparency. That gives us a genuinely competitive offering. We are seeing customers for these destinations explicitly opting for the Xpress products, whereas they used to opt for road transport. We are continuing to expand the network, and will also be improving the quality of the first and last mile in Belgium.”
Geert Pauwels, CEO B Logistics, adds: “By offering these premium rail products, with a differentiated service and excellent performance, we are continuing our sustainable growth and we will achieve the modal shift to rail. Doing so, of course we focus in the first place on our customers and their needs. Moreover, as rail operator, we want to make a difference when it comes to a better environment and an improved mobility.”

Sweden Xpress, practical details
The Sweden Xpress connects Belgium (with Antwerp-North as the hub - departures on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) 3 times a week with Sweden (with Malmö as the hub - departures on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). At the Swedish end, partner Green Cargo handles the last mile, and soon there will be connections to Denmark and Norway. The train has a journey time of 21 hours (siding-to-siding). B Logistics and Green Cargo are partners when it comes to the production and sales.

Jan Kilström, CEO Green Cargo: “We are pleased to connect our Scandinavian network with a third direct train to Europe. This rail-based solution is now a fast alternative to boat and a contender for truck volumes. We are convinced that customers will benefit not only from the climate efficiency offered by this rail based transport but also from the reliability of the solution.”

In view of the specific demand from a number of shippers in the port of Ghent, a regular feeder train will run with shipments from the Ghent area to Antwerp, for connection to the Sweden Xpress.

Daan Schalck, CEO Ghent Port Company: “This connection joins closely the strategy of Ghent Port Company with as multimodal port. We aim for sustainable transport between the port and the hinterland. Today rail transport stands for 10% of the modal split. In the future we want to increase this up to 15%. Moreover, most of the quays in the port are equipped with rails and we invest in complementary rail(bundles) at the Kluizendok.”

(Source: SNCB Logistics)