Gothenburg launches eco-friendly rail link to meet demand boom

In a statement the Port, the largest in Scandinavia, described it as a “rapid, dependable, climate-smart link” that can transfer 2,000 trucks from road to rail and cut carbon emissions by 700,000kg annually.

Claes Sundmark, Vice-President, Business Area Container, the Gothenburg Port Authority, said the new rail has the potential to “increase even further with a highly skilled rail operator that is bringing much sough-after solution to market.”

“The demand for rail transport is continuing to grow, and a further increase will help us achieve our highly ambitious climate goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 70% by 2030. It is a natural progression for us to continue investing offensively in rail services in partnership with our terminals and rail operators,” said Sundmark.

The new shuttle service has been launched by the Norwegian rail operator Cargonet and it will initially operate once a week in each direction between Oslo and the Port of Gothenburg.

Cargonet chief executive Erik Røhne also commented: “Our experience is that demand for an environmentally friendly transport solution between Oslo and the Port of Gothenburg has increased in recent years.

“With our broad range of services we can ensure effective transport to and from all the major cities in Norway and we are extremely pleased that we can now offer our customers this service all the way down to Gothenburg.”

The 580-metre train arrives at the Port of Gothenburg from Oslo on Wednesday afternoon carrying Norwegian export goods for loading onto ships and onward transport to various parts of the world via the extensive Port of Gothenburg service network. That evening the train is loaded with import goods bound for the Norwegian market, reaching Oslo next morning.

This is equivalent to having 2,000 fewer trucks each year operating on the extremely busy E6 motorway between Gothenburg and Oslo. The switch from road to rail will result in a reduction in carbon emissions of 724,000 kg.

At present around 60% of container volumes to and from the Port of Gothenburg are transported by rail. This figure puts the Port of Gothenburg among the top rail freight ports in the world.

Investments include an expansion of the double-track Port Line system and the Arken Intermodal Terminal, which have already had a significant impact on reducing the number of trucks on the roads in the Gothenburg area. The new rail-sea transshipment terminal at the port, the Svea Terminal, is currently in the start-up phase.

New terminal at Walvis Bay becomes fully operational

The new container terminal at the Namibian Port of Walvis Bay is now fully operational, according to a report by the African Development Bank (ADB).

In a statement, the ADB said the terminal was built on constructed on 40 hectares of land reclaimed from the ocean by China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) as part of a project worth $300 million.

It will, according the the bank, turn Walvis Bay into becoming a logistics hub for southern Africa to meet the growing regional demand for freight and provide maritime access for landlocked countries of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

The African Development Bank provided a ZAR 2,982 million ($178 million) loan representing over 70% of the project funding.

The works included the dredging over 3.9 million cubic metres of sand, used partly for the reclamation, construction of a 600-metre quay wall, the laying of 304,000 square metres of paved surface and the construction of a workshop and administrative buildings.

It also entailed the installation of four ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, the construction of a one-kilometre road, the laying of 2.3 km of rail lines, and the installation of service networks. The facility’s electricity supply was also successfully upgraded, the report noted.

“Overall, the project has fully achieved its goals,” the report said, increasing the terminal’s capacity from 355,000 TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit) to 750,000 TEUs yearly. It has also reduced vessel waiting time to less than 8 hours and cut container transit time from 14.5 days to 9.5 days.

Expanded activities required the training of seven pilots and 26 ship-to-shore crane operators, including one woman.

The demand for services from the port of Walvis Bay has increased by about 8% following the commissioning of the new terminal, the report notes. Cargo volumes, revenues and income from other services (maritime, port, berth and light dues, and other storage and handling fees) are expected to increase by at least 8% in 2020 and 2021. After that, growth should reach 5% yearly the report projects.

The project completion reporting team was led by Richard Malinga, Bank Principal Transport Engineer and Task Manager for the project.

The Walvis Bay expansion aligns with the Bank’s High-5 strategic priorities, including promoting the integration of Africa.