The world’s largest inland container port is once again growing dynamically: on January 1, 2008 the first shipping line container terminal in the European hinterland will start operations in Duisburg-Rheinhausen. The lines involved are CMA CGM, the third-largest container line in the world, and NYK, the largest Japanese shipping group. The new terminal will be called Duisburg Trimodal Terminal (D3T). The total investment will be around 20 million Euros.

Four half train-length platforms will be built on the lot and a crane for water and track handling will be erected. The handling area will be operated by Duisport. ‘All the stockholders would like to realize a close operational cooperation with the neighboring DIT Duisburg Intermodal Terminal in order to be able to transfer to the numerous routes into the European hinterland,’ said Erich Staake, Duisburger Hafen AG’s Chief Executive Officer.

Another reason why the shipping lines decided for this location was the nearby DUSS-Terminal in Duisburg-Ruhrort. The terminal is connected to most of the routes in the European distribution network and is directly linked with the ‘Ruhrort-logport-Shuttle’ operated by Duisport. Against the background of quickly growing cargo volumes and the threat of bottlenecks in the seaports a change in the shipping lines’ strategies has taken place. They are increasingly focusing on hinterland hubs that will be utilized for European cargo distribution.

A significant proportion of the volumes expected at the new shipping line terminal will be gateway traffic, which will be transported via Duisburg into the European hinterland. ‘CMA CGM und NYK are consolidating their cargo at the Duisburg location. Because most of these volumes were not previously handled via Duisburg the neighboring DIT will also profit,’ explained Staake. Examples are CMA CGM’s plans for an additional railroad connection towards France and NYK’s plans for an expansion of its block-train service for containers between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Duisburg. CMA CGM and NYK assume that more than 100,000 teu will be handled by this location as early as two years after commencement of operations.

The strategic partnership between the shipping lines and duisport has grown over the years: NYK’s logistics operation was the first customer at logport. Since then the company has established its German headquarters in Duisburg and is among the most important warehousing customers of the duisport Group. The Liner Division of its parent company, NYK Group Europe, is now in the top 10 of the largest container shipping lines worldwide. ‘We not only see Duisport as local inland port for the Lower Rhine Ruhr area but also as our future Pan-European hub to support our strategy to strengthening our distribution network into Central and Eastern Europe,’ explains Ken Steptoe, Director Inland Operations, NYK Group Europe.

Duisport Agency GmbH, a subsidiary of Duisburger Hafen AG, operates a daily railroad connection between Duisburg and Zeebrugge with CMA CGM. In addition, CMA CGM is duisport’s partner as a stockholder in the seaport container terminal Antwerp Gateway. ‘D3T will be the opportunity for CMA CGM ’ through Rail Link and River Shuttle Containers subsidiaries ’ to offer a wide range of intermodal services to our customers, connecting Duisburg area to the sea ports and to the European hinterland,’ said Farid Salem, Chief Executive Vice President of the CMA CGM Group.

‘With this terminal the strategic importance of the port and logistics location of Duisburg will grow, with additional flows of goods and more value added. CMA CGM and NYK will operate the new terminal as equal partners alongside us as the junior partner,’ said Duisport CEO Erich Staake.

The project is subject to the approval by the antitrust agencies.