First direct rail link between Belgium and the Czech Republic

The new Czech Xpress service is the 7th link of the European Green Xpress Network of B Logistics

First direct rail link between Belgium and the Czech Republic

The Czech Xpress links Antwerp North (and Kinkempois) (departure on Tuesday and Thursday) twice a week with Usti nad Labem (departure on Wednesday and Friday). The frequency will be increased in this quarter to 3 roundtrips per week. The train takes 24 hours to go from marshalling yard to marshalling yard. B Logistics and CD Cargo are partners regarding production and each of them markets this connection from its own organisation.

Initially, the Czech Xpress will transport mostly conventional loads. Port of Antwerp selected this new connection in response to a Request for Proposals (RfP) to expand the rail offer between Belgium and Central and Eastern Europe. This means that the Czech Xpress can count on support from the port to open the link up further for intermodal loads in this quarter, and to increase the frequency to 5 roundtrips per week as soon as possible.

There was no direct rail connection between the two countries – until now. B Logistics developed this new service according to the high Xpress quality standards to address the demand from customers in the steel and chemical sectors and the intermodal market.

The service has been made very reliable by limiting the number of shunting movements during the trip and covering nearly the entire trip with the same B Logistics locomotive. The trains run according to a fixed schedule, so that customers know exactly the departure and arrival times (siding to siding).  The products are being monitored by a dedicated Xpress team whom keep customers up to date in real time about their transports.

Sam Bruynseels, Chief Commercial Officer, B Logistics: “The Green Xpress Network which we launched at the beginning of last year with the Swiss Xpress, is now starting to take shape as a streamlined and stable European network of quality connections, with Belgium as a nodal point. The products meet the demands of customers to the full: short transit times, reliability and transparency. Our Xpress trains actually drive with an average punctuality of 95%, which is unrivalled in the market. This is one of the reasons why we managed to generate profitable growth for the first time in 2015. I am convinced that we can consolidate that growth with this sustainable, first-rate solutions at market prices, and appeal to new customers who do not use rail at this time.”

Geert Pauwels, CEO, B Logistics, adds: “Now that the future of B Logistics has been secured, we have set an ambitious goal: modal shift to rail.  We want to provide a thorough and sustainable alternative to road transport because we think it is important to make a contribution on the environment and mobility front.”