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Pressure on Box Owners in Europe to Reposition Containers to other Regions as Depots Flood with Empties

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Pressure on Box Owners in Europe to Reposition Containers to other Regions as Depots Flood with Empties

As the Euro Zone grapples with an ongoing economic crisis, facing declining trade and subsequently, a drop in container trade, the region struggles with the challenge of surplus containers causing repositioning costs exceeding the asset cost. Industry predicts that the container lessors are more focused on long term strategies so that the cost of repositioning may result extremely diluted over the asset lifetime. 

Exactly one year prior, in November 2022, Container xChange reported the persistently deepening problem of an excess of containers burdening depots across Europe. Fast forward to today, and the situation has continued to escalate.

“We have a poisonous mix of severely imbalanced container trade with high level of excess inventory in Europe, and at the same time unreliable shipping services, suddenly lacking the vessel capacity to reposition empties out which in turn makes the situation even more difficult” commented Christian Roeloffs, cofounder and CEO, Container xChange an online container logistics platform based in Hamburg, Germany. 

COVID aftermath in 2019, and later Russia’s war in Ukraine in 2022, left a permanent impact on EU’s trade with its major trading partners like China, the US, and UK. Subsequently, the imports and exports, both declined. 

Retail trade volumes and economic sentiment, both further declined for the Euro Area in 2023. While the final household consumption further declined, the household savings grew from 14.5% in Q1 to 14.9% in Q2 2023. 

With consumers retracting their expenditures persistently, and trade declining, this of course leaves its due impact on the shipping business in Europe. 

Ports in Europe experience consistent month on month low import and export volume TEUs. 

In the first nine months of 2023, there was 6% less throughput in the port of Rotterdam: 329.9 million tonnes compared to 351.0 million tonnes in the same period in 2022. The decline was mainly related to the throughput of containers and coal. The container segment saw a decline of 8.1% in weight and 7.2% in the number of containers (TEU, twenty feet equivalent unit) in the first nine months.

The import and export comparison are similar at the port of Antwerp and that of Hamburg. The biggest struggle for container owners in Europe is the persistent problem of excess containers leading to overflowing depots. The container owners are looking for solutions to repatriate containers back to China and to Russia. 

Source: xChange Insights

The excess of inbound containers this October is also evident in the Container availability Index (CAx) which measures the inbound and outbound containers at any given port. For Rotterdam, the values are at an all-time high at 0.70 this October as compared to 0.59 in October 2022. This indicates that the burden of containers is significantly higher in Rotterdam.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   According to Drewry, In August 2023, the European Container Port Throughput Index saw a 0.4% MoM decline, reaching 100.2 points, down 2.8% dover the August 2022 level.

“Container owners are grappling with the issue of repositioning empty containers to Asia, and this task has become financially burdensome as repositioning costs now surpass the asset costs. However, the caveats here is that this could be an issue for operators looking for short term results, for instance, the traders. On the other hand, container lessors are more focused on long term strategies so that the cost of repositioning may result extremely diluted over the asset lifetime.” Commented Andrea Monti, Italian container depot owner Sogese chief executive Andrea Monti. 

While the carriers are looking to reduce capacity in this region, on the other hand we see the persistent blank sailings trend. In the next five weeks, 9% of 660 scheduled sailings on major East-West routes are cancelled. Most of these cancellations (52%) are on the Asia-North Europe and Mediterranean routes, with 35% on Transpacific Eastbound, and 13% on Transatlantic Westbound routes. 

“We do hear from our customers that depots are burdened, and the box owners are looking to move their containers to other regions. There is also a rush to reposition containers out of Russia and the prices there are quite low. With recessionary fears on the horizon in Europe, and specifically in Germany, the outlook for 2024 is shaky. But one thing is certain – 2024 will be better than 2023 for the container shipping industry.” Shared Christian Reoloffs, cofounder and CEO of Container xChange. 

The biggest uncertainty is the geopolitical risks that have been destructive for the supply chain industry. 

“The Israel – Palestine conflict have remained a regionally destructive humanitarian crisis and have not yet impacted the European Union’s trade and economy. Nevertheless, it is essential to recognize that the container market is highly sensitive to broader economic and geopolitical shifts, as these can substantially influence global trade. The ongoing conflict in Israel holds the potential to affect consumer confidence, manufacturing operations in the region, and ultimately trade volumes emanating from that area.” Roeloffs added. 

Amidst this, there are positive signs for container trade witnessed on the Container xChange platform. Russia is a very popular container trading and leasing market. 

“Hot stretches include 40 ft high cubes from Ex Russia to China and Intra Russia. The container prices are more stable now in Euro area and in China which brings cheer for box trading players as more stable prices gives way to plan the moves better.” Jakob Hafner, Business Unit Leasing & Trading, Germany, Container xChange. 

An overview of the container prices across key ports in Europe

Average prices for 40 ft high cube cargo worthy containers down by 44% this year in October 2023 from October 2022 across key ports in Europe, lowest in four years since 2020. 

Time Series Antwerp Hamburg Rotterdam
October 2020 1740$ 1690$ 1726$
October 2021 4132$ 4062$ 4108$
October 2022 2091$ 2216$ 2111$
October 2023 1005$ 1283$ 1248$

Source: Container xChange marketplace platform

Similar trend is observed for 20 ft DC, cargo worthy containers. However the decline is steeper for 40 ft HC containers, as compared to 20 ft DCs across ports in Europe. 

Time series Hamburg Antwerp Rotterdam
October 2020 1075$ 900$ 913$
October 2021 2546$ 2484$ 2388$
October 2022 1584$ 1612$ 1418$
October 2023 1140$ 945$ 615$

Source: Container xChange marketplace platform

Container xChange periodically deep dives into the container trading and leasing market trends to help equip its customers and industry drive better container business decision making. This analysis evaluates company and market information to contextualize solid understanding of the macro economic factors and draws correlation into how these are impacting the container market in the region. 




lekki port

Lekki Port Officially Opened by Nigerian President

Lekki Port has had its official commissioning led by Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.

This took place on 23 January.

The opening of a cutting-edge facility that will spur economic growth and enhance commerce in the area, marking a historic occasion for Nigeria’s maritime industry.

Lekki Port is expected to attract total revenues of $201 billion to the state and federal government through taxes, royalties and duties.

After construction works were completed late last year, the port will feature a variety of facilities including container terminals, roll-on/roll-off terminals, a dry bulk terminal, and liquid berths.

The port is the deepest sea port in Nigeria and is intended to, among other purposes, serve as a major hub for cargo and passenger traffic in West Africa.

Lekki Port was constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) which owns a 52.5 per cent stake in the port.

The project cost approximately $1.6 billion and is the first of its kind in Nigeria.

“We see the opportunity in Nigeria, and believe in its potential,” said Tang Qiaoliang, Chairman, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

READ: Lekki Port receives second ship with handling equipment

Lekki Port is a joint venture enterprise owned by a group of investors led by the Lekki Port Investment Holdings Inc., The Lagos State Government, and the Federal Government.

The seaport is located approximately 65 kilometres to the east of Lagos City and spreads over 90 hectares of land bordered on the south by the Atlantic Ocean.

It is the biggest port in Nigeria, and one of the biggest in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“For us in NPA, this is a dream come true. Lekki Port is the deepest and most modern Sea Port in Nigeria. Economies-of-scale will set in, and the cost of doing business here will be lower than in other Ports,” said Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko.

Koko also mentioned that a neighbouring country is already in discussions with Nigerian ports to use Lekki Port and the equally-new Dala Inland Dry Port as a gateway to that country.


The Top 5 ports in the United States 2022

PTI now ranks the busiest ports in the United States as part of its continued coverage of the top ports in the globe.

Following our ‘Top 10 Ports in China 2022’, we now turn our attention to North America.

The US has the largest economy in the world, and this has largely been fuelled by the operations of its ports. Still dealing with the remnants of COVID-19, America has continued experiencing tremendous surges in consumer demand which is clearly reflected by the corresponding container handling figures.

With the complete annual figures yet to be released, we have taken data from the first 10 months of the year to give us an indication of what the final yearly figures could look like.

5. Port of Houston

Beginning with our ranking for 2022, the Port of Houston has successfully surpassed last year’s Number 5 entry of the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) of Seattle and Tacoma, handling a grand total of 3,333,924 TEU from January to October.

Overall, this represents a container volume rise of almost 18 per cent compared to the same time in 2021, which handled 2,835,486 TEU.

As a result of significant increases in container handling, the Port of Houston Authority has started making preparations to expand capacity by transforming Bayport Container Terminal (BPT) into an extra container yard.

This involves converting a total area of 100 acres at BTP in Bayport East End not only to increase container volume, but to also enhance terminal efficiency and cut emissions.

In November the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority voted to introduce a sustained import dwell fee and an optional excessive import dwell fee to cope with record-breaking volumes. The changes were effective from 1 December 2022, however were put on hold later in the month.

4. The Port of Savannah

The Port of Savannah is once again on track to record its greatest annual TEU handling total after another extremely successful October period in 2022, handling 552,806 TEU.

Over the first 10 months of 2022, the port handled 4,986,489 TEU demonstrating a considerable year-on-year increase from 4,652,463 TEU handled at the same time in 2021.

Earlier this month the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Board approved renovation and realignment of the docks at the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal in a bid to expand container operation.

The GPA also placed an order for 12 Konecranes Rubber-Tyred Gantries for the Port of Savannah in an effort to assist the tremendous growth and increased productivity the port has experienced.

3. The Port of Long Beach

Aerial image of containers in the Port of Long Beach, California.

Although the Port of Long Beach has had an incredibly busy year, surpassing handling totals from the previous year and setting new records, it has nonetheless slid to third on the list.

READ: Port of Long Beach named best West Coast seaport

During the first 10 months of 2022, the Port of Long Beach handled 8,000,811 TEU, an increase of 1.5 per cent from the 7,884,565 TEU per cent handled during the same time in 2021.

Due to decreased consumer demand and a shift in imported commodities toward the Gulf and East coasts, cargo passing through the Port of Long Beach has eased up once more in October.

READ: Port of Long Beach unfolds electric trucks charging stations

In October, 658,428 TEU of cargo containers were handled by dockworkers and terminal operators, a 16.6 per cent decrease from October 2021. Exports fell 2 per cent to 119,763 TEU while imports fell 23.7 per cent to 293,924 TEU. 244,743 TEU fewer empty containers were carried through the port, a 13.4 per cent decrease.

The Port of Long Beach has joined the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES). Green hydrogen is a crucial fuel for the shipping industry’s future as we work toward the Port’s targets of zero-emissions trucking by 2035 and zero-emissions cargo-handling by 2030.

READ: Top 10 Ports in China 2022

2. The Port of New York and New Jersey


On our list of the busiest ports in the US, the Port of New York and New Jersey has now surpassed the Port of Long Beach due to a boom in container volume that has been triggered by a gradual shift away from the US West Coast ports.

Solidifying its status as the second busiest port in America, the year-to-date container volumes at the port have reached 8,157,584 TEU, an increase of 7.3 per cent from the 7,455,786 TEU handled in the same period in 2021.

READ: New York – New Jersey drives down empties

As the number of containers passing through the US West Coast ports continues to decline, the Port of New York and New Jersey continued to hold the top rank as the busiest in the nation for a third consecutive month.

The port carried approximately 19 per cent more cargo in October 2022 than it did in pre-pandemic October 2019.

1. The Port of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, Ca, USA – June 21, 2015: San Pedro, California/USA June 2015. Container ship Agusta Kontor transporting cargo at The Port of Los Angeles with the Vincent Thomas Bridge in background

Securing its spot at the top of the list is the Port of Los Angeles.

Similar to the Ports of New York and New Jersey, consumer demand has pushed Los Angeles’ container handling figures to new highs. In the first 10 months of 2022, the Port of Los Angeles handled 8,542,944 TEU, a 6 per cent decrease from last year’s record pace when 9,079,561 TEU were processed.

READ: Hyster tests hydrogen container handler at Port of Los Angeles

When compared to October 2021, the Port of Los Angeles handled 678,429 TEU, a 25 per cent decline in cargo volume.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director, Gene Seroka, cited that shippers awaiting the conclusion of labour contract negotiations have been largely responsible for cargo shifting away from the West Coast.

This explains why the Port of New York and New Jersey saw a considerable rise in cargo handling that ultimately helped it surpass the Port of Long Beach.

READ: Port of Los Angeles receives $20 million grant to boost freight movement

The two-year period of a containership backup has now come to an end due to decreased traffic in both Californian ports. Throughout the pandemic, with a peak of 109 on 9 January 2022, containerships lining up outside the major US West Coast ports was a common sight.

Currently, there are just a handful of vessels at anchor outside of the ports, as opposed to 81 containerships on 22 November 2021.


Port of Houston box Numbers Stay High in Softening Market

The Port of Houston has enjoyed a 13 per cent year-on-year container growth in October, continuing its positive trend seen throughout 2022.

The port moved a total of 371,994 TEU during the month.

Loaded container TEU reached the highest volume ever, up 21 per cent compared to the same month last year.

Overall, container volume is up 18 per cent year-to-date at Port Houston’s terminals and has surpassed the 3 million mark thus far, with 3,333,924 TEU.

“Although the import demand in the US appears to be softening, we have not seen any slowing in Houston in recent months,” said Roger Guenther, Port Houston Executive Director.

“We are handling record amounts of cargo and remain focused on aggressive infrastructure development to optimise capacity and efficiently handle current and future demand through our port.”

The Port Commission recently voted to introduce a sustained import dwell fee and an optional excessive import dwell fee to cope with record-breaking volumes.

The port had long considered the introduction of a fee as containers keep flowing in at its terminals with no signs of imminent softening in import loads.

“The additional dwell fees are intended to minimise storage of containers on terminal. Boxes need to move through the terminal quickly to maintain a fluid environment and superior level of service for our customers,” Guenther said.

Total tonnage across Port Houston’s facilities was up 18 per cent in October and 25 per cent for the year as compared to last year.

In September, the Port of Houston registered its second-highest month ever for containers following a surge in demand for imported goods.

Total throughput reached 353,525 TEU, a year-on-year increase of 26 per cent.


Suez Canal Authority signs $500 Million deal for East Port Said Container Terminal

The General Authority of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZONE) and Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT) have signed a $500 million concession contract to establish a second container terminal in East Port Said.

Waleid Gamal El-Dein – Chairman of the General Authority for SCZONE, and Steven Yoogalingam – CEO and Managing Director of SCCT signed the contract on 15 November during on the side line of the UN climate summit (COP27).

Under the contract, SCCT will be responsible for “financing, design, construction, management, and operation” of the new terminal.

This project aligns with SCZONE’s plan to develop its affiliated ports to serve the global trade movement and play a key role in the transportation of green fuel.

The terminal is currently operating with a berth length of 2,400 metres and a handling yard of 1.2 million square metres, with an annual throughput of 4 million TEU.

The project aims to expand the existing SCCT’s Container Terminal at East Said Port to a length of 955 metres and a handling yard of 510,000 square metres, for an additional annual capacity of 2 million TEU.

READ: Suez Canal Authority, Maersk strike $500 million deal for East Port Said berth

“This project comes within the framework of SCZONE’s consistent eagerness with Egypt’s economic strategy, which aims to develop the Egyptian ports to maximise their role in the global maritime trade movement and to exploit the various investments to create job opportunities,” said Waleid Gamal El-Dei.

“This is exactly what the project offers, as it aims to expand the existing container terminal in Port Said East Port with cumulative investments estimated at $500 million, providing 1,000 direct and indirect job opportunities, especially for the residents of Port Said and North Sinai cities.”

Ahead of COP27, representatives from Maersk, SCZONE, and Siemens Energy discussed green hydrogen projects.

The meeting discussed the framework of the companies’ feasibility studies in preparation for pilot phases of the projects.


TT Club: Fire Safety at Sea Calls for Serious Improvement

TT Club has raised awareness on improving measures to mitigate container ship fires still causing significant cargo losses and ship damage.

The company has estimated a 60-day average occurrence of serious fires – most recently the ZIM Charleston fire in August and the TSS Pearl in the Red Sea in October – and is therefore urging a more comprehensive approach to stop the trend.

“There were significant lessons coming from the sad incident on the MSC Flaminia, which cost the lives of three seafarers, particularly from the subsequent legal proceedings that adjudged the shipper and NVOC responsible for root cause errors,” says TT’s Peregrine Storrs-Fox.

“Despite the biennial updates to the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, including multiple arising from this particular incident, the judge’s assessment that the regulations merely set the ‘baseline’ for good practice remains utterly true today.”

Ensuring compliance with the latest mandatorily applicable version of the IMDG Code is essential as a minimum standard for all shipping dangerous goods by sea – although the MSC Flaminia case showed methods still need refinement according to TT Club.

READ: TT Club urges IMO Member States to increase ‘sparse’ container inspections

TT advocates a comprehensive approach to bring an understanding of all the factors contributing to the fires and consequently underlining responsibilities for safety.

The insurance risk firm argued that errors, misunderstandings, mis-declarations and inadequate packing and securing lie at the heart of many incidents, and everyone involved in the process of cargo shipping – starting from sellers and buyers – has a duty to care and comply with safety measures.

Attention to accurate classification and declaration prove to be critical.

READ: Bangladesh depot fire aggravated by hazardous chemicals

Closely related to the issues specific to dangerous goods are those arising from packing cargo according to TT Club.

While the IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units (CTU Code) remains non-mandatory international law, it is clearly referenced from the IMDG Code.

Through its participation in the Cargo Integrity Group, TT Club has contributed to work on the ‘CTU Code – a quick guide’ as a route-map for the broad industry to engage more successfully with the CTU Code and to assist wider understanding of good packing practices.

In September, ICHCA International launched the 2022 TT Club Innovation in Safety Award, inviting entrants to submit details of their innovations.

The award, which is open to an individual, team or company involved in cargo logistics, has seen the prestige associated with winning or being highly commended grow year-on-year.


DP World Inaugurates two Super Post Panamax Cranes at Lirquén Terminal

DP World has inaugurated two Super Post Panamax ship-to-shore (STS) cranes at its Lirquén Chile terminal.

The two new cranes, powered by renewable energy, will help increase port productivity by 30 per cent and reduce the operational carbon footprint by 11 per cent while accelerating the company’s efficiency and growth at one of the main terminals in the Biobío Region.

The Super Post Panamax STS cranes will allow DP World to service ships with up to 22 rows, and are supported by yard equipment such as Reach Stackers and port trucks to accompany the increase in productivity at the dock.

The project also includes the addition of modern Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, which will speed up the process and improve the terminal’s safety.

Michael Spoerer, General Manager of DP World Lirquén, explained: “DP World’s Lirquén terminal is now poised to support additional economic activity through the port, expanding the world’s access to Chilean exports.

“This investment of nearly $45 million brings two of the most modern cranes in the world to our facility. As demand for goods increases across the region, we now have the capacity to handle the region’s largest vessels in the most sustainable manner.”

READ: DP World signs deal with Emirates Development Bank

DP World’s operations in Chile, through its terminals DP World Lirquén and DP World San Antonio, recently renewed its certification as the first port operator in South America to use 100 per cent renewable energy.

The company announced a $500 million investment at COP27 to cut carbon emissions by 700,000 tons as part of the Green Shipping Challenge (GSC).

Spoerer added: “This investment confirms DP World’s decision to enhance its commercial offer for containers on the West Coast of South America and to be a long-term strategic facilitator of cargo for Chilean importers and exporters.

“Productivity and efficiency at DP World Lirquén’s docks has grown significantly in recent years, thanks to investments, operational redesign and support from our workers, which have translated into benefits for our customers, both in containers, cellulose ships, ships with servicing the clean energy market and transportation.”

DP World Limited handled 59.6 million TEU terminals in the first nine months of the year.


New Intermodal Terminal Operator at Port of Gothenburg

One of the terminals at the Port of Gothenburg is getting a new operator.

Arken Intermodal Terminal at the Outer Ports will be operated from now on by the terminal company Gothenburg Roro Terminal.

The recently signed lease agreement comes into force on 11 December and is valid for three years.

The Arken Intermodal Terminal comprises an area of 65,000 square metres adjacent to the Port’s container and ro-ro terminals.

The terminal is used for the transshipment of containers or trailers between ships, trains and trucks, for onward transport into the Swedish hinterland or out into the world.

With its seven railway lines with a total track length of 3,360 metres, the terminal is focused primarily on handling rail traffic.

As of 11 December, operations will be taken over by an operator that is already well-established at the port, Gothenburg Roro Terminal.

The company has been running the port’s biggest ro-ro terminal since 2012, where the majority of the port’s total of about 600,000 ro-ro units per year are handled.

The terminal has 16 departures per week to the UK and many of the major freight hubs in Central Europe. The ro-ro terminal and the Arken Intermodal Terminal are immediately adjacent to each other.

READ: Port of Gothenburg surpasses 220,000 TEU in Q3

“There are many new opportunities that this will enable us to realise – not least when Arken’s link to intra-European ro-ro shipping becomes clearer,” said Maria Franksen, CEO of Gothenburg Roro Terminal.

“For example, we’ll be able to link up the terminal’s extensive rail traffic from Norrland to the upcoming green shipping corridor via Ghent, for onward transport to Turkey.”

The terminal is of the open access type, and with a total capacity of 90,000 units a year.

The Arken Intermodal Terminal is a relatively new addition to the Port of Gothenburg’s range of terminals.

It became operational at the turn of the year 2017/2018, when it replaced a previous terminal in central Gothenburg. This relocation brought major benefits in the form of higher capacity, a better geographical location in relation to industry and a better adapted road infrastructure to and from the terminal.

The move meant that around 100 trucks a day could be moved from the city centre, resulting in both shorter queues and lower emissions in the area.

Last month the Port of Gothenburg debuted its Circle K charging and hydrogen filling station.


COSCO sells shares in Duisburg new Terminal

Chinese carrier COSCO has given up its shares in the construction of the new Duisburg Gateway Terminal (DGT) in Germany.

COSCO’s share in the terminal amounted to 30 per cent, which have now been sold to Duisburg port operator, duisport.

READ: Ports of Rotterdam and Duisburg sign digitalization, sustainability agreement

The Duisburg port company took over the shares in June, but both sides have agreed not to disclose the reasons for the Chinese exit, as reported by German broadcaster WDR.

The project for the DGT was launched in 2019 for a total investment of €100 million ($100.4 million).

duisport and COSCO would have held 30 per cent of shares, and Dutch inland shipping group HTS and Hupac 20 per cent each.

The new terminal will be built on the Coal Island of the German port over an area of 220,000 square meters with 6 cranes, 12 rail freight platforms, 5 loading zones, 3 berths for barges and an area of ​​60,000 square metres for container storage.

Initial predictions estimated that DGT was supposed to handle 850,000 TEU per year welcoming over 100 weekly trains coming from the New Silk Road.

The news comes shortly after the German government has approved the acquisition of a minority stake of less than 25 per cent in HHLA’s Container Terminal Tollerort GmbH (CTT) by COSCO.

The sale had been debated for months, as Germany’s Economy Minister, Robert Habeck, disclosed that he was inclined not to allow the deal, arguing the deal would give China a stake in critical German infrastructure.


DP World Nears Completion of New Multimodal Terminal in Romania

DP World has announced that the construction of its new terminal in Aiud, Romania is over 50 per cent complete.

The company first announced the new project in May.

Upon completion in 2023, the 82,000 square-meter intermodal terminal will link an area that contributes 50 per cent of Romania’s industrial GDP directly with rail connections across Europe and all the way to China.

DP World’s new terminal will have a storage capacity of 3,000 TEU and create direct links to key export markets – including Constanta port.

“We are very pleased to have reached this significant milestone in the construction of this multimodal terminal, which will be a big step in helping DP World become an end-to-end logistics provider in Romania,” said Cosmin Carstea, CEO of DP World Romania.

“As it is situated in Romania’s industrial heartland, when completed our Aiud terminal will provide exporters and importers in the wider area with direct access to a major transport hub, creating efficient, robust and reliable trade routes to the whole country and beyond.”

The Aiud terminal will also help reduce transportation costs and CO2 emissions through its on-site connection to the electrified rail infrastructure.

The new facility will enable Romania to become a commercial hub for European trade eastward, according to DP World.

Businesses in the region will have a fast direct connection within Europe to the Black Sea, North and Adriatic seas, while also having rail links to major hubs in Central Asia and China.

“Our purpose is to make trade flow,” added Rashid Abdulla, CEO of DP World Europe.

“The development of this vast new facility in Aiud is a strong example of DP World’s ability to provide new trading opportunities that connect cargo owners with their customers, whatever their products and wherever they are in the world.”

Earlier this month, DP World announced works have started to build a fourth berth at its London Gateway smart logistics hub.

The £350 million ($387 million) project builds on DP World’s £2 billion ($2.2 billion) investment in Britain’s supply chain over the last decade.