The Port of Antwerp has announced it has made progress on the 6,200 mile Antwerp to Chongqing rail connection, a cornerstone of port development toward establishing the port as a global hub.
Belgian Customs plans to establish a Green Lane project to expedite the shipment of goods along the rail connection. To that end, Belgian Customs’ project manager, Christiane Verlent, is in Chongqing for negotiations, according to a port statement.
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.
Antwerp plans to promote itself as a hub for the broad hinterland, stretching 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 from there be put on the rail service to China.
The transit of goods works in both directions. The supply can be performed by vessel, deep sea or short sea, or by train.
Since the beginning of May, intermodal operator Hupac has offered 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.
“Within foreseeable time we can expect to welcome sales offices and distribution centers from well known Chinese brands and companies in our region,” Koen Helsen, president of POM Antwerp and Vice-Governor for Economy, said in a statement. “Through this initiative we hope to position ourselves again as an economical attractive investment region for these companies.”