Proposed Gateway Basel Nord intermodal container terminal.

SWITZERLAND: The planned start of construction of the Gateway Basel Nord project for a trimodal container terminal has been delayed following a successful legal challenge by container and logistics company Swissterminal AG.

Gateway Basel Nord is the brainchild of a joint venture formed of SBB Cargo, intermodal operator Hupac and Rhenus subsidiary Contargo which in July 2018 was granted a federal contribution of SF83m towards the SFr130m first phase of the scheme.

The Federal Administrative Court ruled on October 17 that Swissterminal was entitled to object to the promoters’ application for a government contribution towards the scheme, whereas the Federal Office for Transport had previously excluded Swissterminal from participating in the approval procedure.

The Federal Administrative Court’s decision means that Swissterminal may now appeal, forcing the Federal Office for Transport to reassess the project and take its views into account. The Federal Office for Transport had previously said that Swissterminal’s fears of increased competition were not sufficient grounds to turn down the funding application.

Switzerland’s Competition Commission ruled in June this year that it had no objections to the joint venture.