20 BULKDISTRIBUTOR Logistics Rotterdam’s rail redirection S ome 4km of the dedicated freight rail line the Betuwe Route is to be redirected by Port of Rotterdam Authority. As a result, the railway line will no longer run over the Caland Bridge, a vertical lift bridge that has to be raised to allow ocean vessels to access the Britanniehaven. Having to stop freight trains when the bridge needs to be raised is seen by the port as increasingly problematic given the expected increase rail traffic over the coming years. Set for completion by 2020, the new route will also bring an end to noise pollution caused by the rail track near the village of Rozenburg. Construction of the new route will cost around €275 million. The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment is contributing over €100 million, the European Union €62 million and the Port Authority the remainder. The Port Authority will construct the new route and then hand the line over to Betuwe operator ProRail. By redirecting the line over the Rozenburgse Sluis and via Theemsweg, the increasing rail traffic to and from Europoort and the Maasvlakte will no longer be obstructed by shipping, the port maintains, which will considerably improve the flow of traffic. Port of Rotterdam COO Ronald Paul said the investment in the Theemsweg Route was necessary to improve the port’s connections to the hinterland which were essential for the port’s competitive position. “That’s why we want to see a solution to the capacity problem,” he March/April 2016 GCA takes big stake in Simon Gibson F The redirection will means trains no longer run over the Caland Bridge, seen here in the background stated. “But because the Government doesn’t have sufficient funds to do this in the coming years, we suggested to the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment that we, as port authority, would pay a large proportion of the costs for the Theemsweg Route and execute the project ourselves. On completion, we will hand the new stretch of track over to ProRail. “The ministry responded positively to our proposal. We will produce the final design for the railway line in collaboration with ProRail. The new route will be approximately 4km long and run over a raised railway viaduct. The track will have two arched bridges and link up again with the existing track where it meets the A15,” he added The port authority says it is unusual in Europe for a port authority to invest as heavily in public infrastructure as is currently the case in Rotterdam. In Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven, Antwerp and Zeebrugge, the authorities not only pay for the public infrastructure such as railways, but also contribute towards investments in the development of ports, or the government settles the losses suffered by the port authorities, the port stated. rench logistics provider Groupe Charles Andre (GCA) has acquired a 75 percent stake in UK bulk powder haulage firm Simon Gibson Transport. Based in Goole, Humberside Simon Gibson has operations across the UK and much of Europe. It was founded 16 years ago by Simon Gibson with a single truck and has since grown to a fleet of 94 vehicles and a headcount of 138 staff, delivering more than 2 million tons a year throughout Europe. GCA is also a family business that has grown into a Europe-wide logistics provider. It is the parent group of tank container operator GCAtainer. Based in Montelimar, France, it was founded in 1932 and now operates in 15 countries. Following the recession, Gibson diversified its business, widening its customer base from the construction industry to target a number of other sectors. Consequently the firm has seen significant growth over the past eight years. Now, by joining forces with a major European operator, Gibson believes it be able to build on this success.