Group Machiels and H.Essers join forces for the launch of Port of Limburg

Group Machiels and H.Essers join forces for the launch of Port of Limburg

10Two Limburg family businesses, Group Machiels and H.Essers, are joining forces to build a container terminal on the former Ford site with a capacity of 350,000 TEU/year with a specific focus on the sustainable connection between the Port of Antwerp and the Limburg hinterland via the Albert Canal: Port of Limburg.

The cooperation will contribute to the strategic development of the multimodal solutions of both players. At the same time, it confirms the further anchoring of both companies in Limburg.

Logistics development has long been an economic spearhead in Limburg. The development of the former Ford sites is perfectly in line with the logistic ambitions of both parties. With Port of Limburg, they mainly aim to offer a sustainable and competitive logistics platform. To this end, the terminal will be equipped with the most modern facilities and technologies, including specific investments for handling hazardous goods, both packaged and in bulk, as well as container heating and a filling and drumming installation.

Both due to the location and logistical advantages of Limburg and its connection via the Port of Antwerp with intercontinental flows, this hinterland will further strengthen its competitive position in the Euregion.

Today Haven Genk, 50% of it owned by Group Machiels and 50% by Aperam, handles both bulk goods and containers. In the future it will focus on the handling of bulk materials, stainless steel and rail activities. The existing container traffic will be transferred to Port of Limburg on the other side of the Albert Canal.

“The optimisation of the existing synergies between Port of Limburg and Haven Genk offers unrivalled potential for the logistical development of the region and the strengthening of the trimodal access to the former Ford site,” says Louis Machiels, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Group Machiels.

H.Essers has been focusing on its synchromodal strategy for some time now through the expansion of multimodal transport with the acquisition of the ETG rail terminal a year ago and the expansion of rail solutions within Europe and the China corridor. “After acquiring our own inland rail terminal, we are now investing in our own water terminal. The proximity of our mega site Dry Port makes this terminal extra valuable. From here, we offer our customers at home and abroad solutions through smart combinations of road, rail and water.  In order to respond to the market, it is crucial to continue to grow, innovate and invest,” says Gert Bervoets, H.Essers CEO. “We have been more than just a road haulier for a long time now, but this partnership will only increase our lead as a synchromodal logistics service provider. At the same time, this plan provides a new impulse in the Flemish logistics sector.”

The demolition, soil decontamination and infrastructure works have already started and Port of Limburg is expected to be operational by 2023.

Port of Limburg is counting on the future support of all the relevant authorities to accomplish this project as soon as possible.