Antwerp and Chongqing to be rail connected?

From the Port of Antwerp:

With great interest a rail connection for cargo between Antwerp and Chongqing was
presented today in Antwerp. The project was established in 2010 by POM Antwerp
(Development Authority of the Province of Antwerp), the Antwerp Port Authority and
Belgian Administration of Customs & Excise. In the meantime an intermodal operator was
found in Hupac who covers the route in both directions. Sufficient cargo in both directions
is a crucial factor for the viability of the line. Now that we have the interest of some
companies, other players will undoubtedly follow.

The idea of a rail connection for goods between Antwerp and Chongqing was picked up
during a business trip to Chongqing organized by POM Antwerp and the Antwerp Port
Authority last year. The municipality of Chongqing ‐ the biggest city in the world – puts great
attention to rail connections with Europe. Return cargo, cargo from Europe to China,
remained for them the largest concern. Now Antwerp has found some interested companies
for this.

Since the beginning of May, the Antwerp – Chongqing connection is well structured.
Intermodal operator Hupac offers a daily service from the Combinant terminal in the north of
the port of Antwerp to connect Antwerp with Poland and further with Russia and China
together with its partners Russkaya Troyka and Eurasia Good Transport. Chongqing is one of
the final destinations of this service.

Antwerp, the hub for Europe, West‐Africa and North and South America
An efficient link between Antwerp and Chongqing is guaranteed. But there is more. Antwerp
plans to strongly promote itself as a hub for the broad hinterland. And this hinterland
stretches beyond the surrounding regions to the whole of Europe, West‐Africa and North and
South America. This means that goods destined for China will be gathered from very
different regions in the Antwerp port and can there from be put on the rail service to China.
The supply is done by vessel, deep sea or short sea, or by train. Also in the reversed direction
Antwerp serves as hub.

“ As second European port, the Port of Antwerp positions itself already longer as thé hub for
Europe, but also for West‐Africa and North and South America. This initiative only reinforces
that message. The maritime companies from the port have nothing to fear. After all, the rail
connection will be complementary to maritime flows and in this way even generate extra
maritime traffic.”, according to Marc Van Peel, President Antwerp Port Authority ‐ port
alderman and vice‐mayor.

Green lane by rail. A world scoop.
The rail connection runs from Antwerp over Germany and Poland to Ukraina, Russia,
Mongolia and China. The 10.000 km long route crosses a lot of borders . Good agreements
are hereby crucial to avoid unnecessary delays and controls.
Belgian customs want to fulfill a pioneer function and will try to make a Green Lane project
from this rail connection in close cooperation with different customs authorities along the
rail route. By exchanging information at the departure , working with reliable partners and
making clear arrangements with customs authorities of the transit countries, time can be
saved. It is already a very ambitious project because a Green Train Lane between China and
Europe is a world première. At first Belgian customs will pay high attention to convincing
sister administrations of countries involved. The project manager at Belgian customs,
Christiane Verlent, now is in Chongqing for negotiations.

Brand naming increases in China
The rail connection from and to China means a big boost for the awareness of Antwerp in
Chongqing and China. Since several years POM Antwerp promotes the assets of the region in
Chongqing. Last year a permanent economic representative was appointed, which gave a
new boost to the promotion efforts.

Koen Helsen, President of POM Antwerp and Vice‐Governor for Economy:” The rail
connection makes Antwerp even more known in Chongqing, but also in the whole of China.
Furthermore, Chongqing positions itself as hub for the Chinese hinterland. Our region
benefits from this extra reputation for Antwerp in many ways. Not alone can we reinforce
our position as a logistic top region and world harbour, we also draw the attention from
several Chinese companies with European ambitions. Within foreseeable time we can expect
to welcome sales offices and distribution centres from well known Chinese brands and
companies in our region. Through this initiative we hope to position ourselves again as an
economical attractive investment region for these companies: Antwerp, the gateway to the
European hinterland. New investments and corresponding jobs are the driving forces of our prosperity"