Around or Over? Navigating the European continent

Around or Over? Navigating the European continent

Date: 09/01/2023

Europe is a broad and diverse landscape made up of numerous countries and borders, each with varying qualities of infrastructure and operational capacity. Its 10 million square kilometer area forces ships to navigate around it, resulting in an age-old question – what’s the fastest and most cost-effective way to transport goods across Europe, particularly continental Europe?

Today’s Needs Addressed through Modern and Efficient Solutions

Transport is vital for the free movement of individuals, services, and goods across the European continent and is a major contributor to the economy. Sustainable and innovative means of transport play an important role in the EU’s energy and climate objectives. According to Eurostat, Intra-European trade was estimated at €3.11 trillion in 2016, accounting for more than 15 percent of global trade. Between 2016 and 2020, exports between EU countries increased by EUR 219 billion.

Demand for express delivery has soared in recent years due to consumer expectations around time, efficiency, and sustainability as companies and end-users look to understand more about the carbon footprint of their goods. Rail and barge transport will be key to reducing carbon emissions within the sector. To create a better future for everyone, DP World enables smarter trade by offering increasingly sustainable transport solutions.

“We are absolutely committed to doing all we can to help not only our own operations, but also our supply chain partners and customers, reduce their carbon emissions.”

- Rashid Abdulla, CEO & Managing Director, DP World Europe

A Solutions-Orientated Approach

A lack of coordination between deep-sea terminals and hinterland operations can lead to waste and under-utilisation of transport infrastructure resulting in goods being transported by roads that are often congested as well as by less efficient modalities. A single train can carry the same amount of cargo as 70 trucks, while a recent study    showed that barges can move a ton of cargo 1041km consuming just under five litres of fuel, and trains can move the same amount of cargo 768km. In contrast, with the same amount of fuel, trucks can move a ton of cargo only 233km.

DP World firmly believes that in Europe, a significant demand exists for more sustainable transport solutions. The 2021 State of Supply Chain Sustainability Report, states that nearly three in five (59 percent) of companies have increased their investment in making their supply chain more sustainable.

This drive for sustainability and efficiency is acting as an accelerator for sustainable technology, such as electric or hydrogen propulsion of barges and the electrification of rail. By building sustainable supply chains, DP World is seeking to support the economies of the future. 

To Europe and Beyond

The modernisation of ports, terminals, and supply chains, and the improvement of critical infrastructure is the cornerstone of DP World’s investment across Europe. The continued demand for more sustainable and resilient modes of transport, such as rail and barge, is expected to act as an accelerator for technological development that will make them even more efficient.

‘‘We know that the demands of customers, corporates and governments around the world are changing. Businesses are facing increasing pressures to deliver products and goods on time and at speed, while reducing their carbon emissions and overall impact on the environment.’’

- Rob Harrison, Interim Head of Freight, DP World Europe

DP World Antwerp, one of the greenest multipurpose terminals in the world, handles up to 40 trains each week. The rail hub at Antwerp Gateway can handle six trains simultaneously and is capable of handling any type of block train. The port is also connected to the 1,500 km Belgian waterway network and the pan-European river and canal network, resulting in a substantial 35 percent of cargo to and from Antwerp Gateway being transported by barge.

DP World has also announced plans to open an inland terminal and logistics hub in Decea near the city of Aiud in the northeast of Romania.  The state-of-the-art 82,000 sqm Aiud intermodal terminal will boast a static storage capacity of 3,000 TEU and generate approximately 30 direct job opportunities for the local workforce over the next five years. Businesses in this area will now have a fast direct connection within Europe to the Black Sea, North, and Adriatic seas, while also having rail links to major hubs in Central Asia and China, enabling Romania to become a commercial hub for European trade eastward. 

This programme of investment is part of DP World’s efforts to think ahead, anticipate change and deploy industry-leading technology to create the smartest, most efficient, and innovative trade solutions, while ensuring a positive and sustainable impact on economies, societies, and our planet.