Tuesday, January 29, 2019

MSC Subsidiary Invests Millions in New Freight Container Terminal in Portuguese Dry Port

Six Rail Lines to Link Cargo to Facilities at Sines Seaport
Shipping News Feature
PORTUGAL – Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has announced that, through its freight operator Medway in Iberia, the world's second largest container shipping company is to make a significant investment in the construction of Portugal's largest dry port in order to address the growing needs of exporters and shippers in the north of the country.

The development of a new railway station at Lousado will serve the second largest economic region in Portugal through direct connections to the Port of Sines. Northern Portugal accounts for about 39% of the national exports and 29% of the national economy and its main industries include textiles clothing, footwear and metallurgy as well as medium and high tech sectors such as automotive components, pharmaceuticals, machinery, precision and communication equipment and computers.

The Lousado terminal will have an estimated area of 200,000 m2 and storage capacity for 10,000 TEUs. Its six rail lines will be of a European standard serving 12 to 14 trains per day. Its use of electricity will reduce pollution in comparison with diesel trains and road haulage, and have a positive impact on traffic congestion and CO2emissions, thus providing a more sustainable mode of freight transportation.

The project is proceeding with the cooperation and support of public institutions, such as the local City Hall of Famalicão and Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) with investments in the region quoted as €35 million. Portugal is planning major infrastructure investments to enhance rail connectivity, including 19 rail projects with a total budget of €4.1 billion. The new terminal at Lousado will be connected to the national rail network and the main corridors to the port of Sines, and would allow for trans-border service connecting the Iberian Peninsula to the rest of Europe. Giuseppe Prudente, MSC’s Chief Logistics Officer, said:

“We are very pleased to implement this new agreement, which will lead to the construction of what will be the largest dry terminal in the Iberian Peninsula. Using the latest-generation technology, this will be among the most modern dry terminals in the world and the answer to the logistics needs of local companies, making exports and imports easier and thus contributing to the region's prosperity. At the same time, this is a demonstration of our commitment to become more efficient and sustainable, providing the service that our customers need, every day.”

Construction will begin as soon as the required licences have been approved and is expected to be operational by March 2020. The terminal will be equipped with the most modern technologies, such as state-of-the-art lifting equipment, and is estimated to create more than 90 direct and indirect new jobs.

Running 100 trains per day, covering a distance equivalent to 136 trips around the world in a year, Medway has a 90% share of the Portuguese rail freight market and the dry terminal is part of a major expansion plan in Portugal. Medway also operates in Spain, where it will be making further investments.

Photo: From left to right: Mr. Carlos Vasconcelos, Chairman of the Medway Board of Directors, Mr. Paulo Cunha, Mayor of Famalicão and Mr. António Laranjo, Chairman of IP.