EUROPE: Samskip Multimodal is to launch a dedicated intermodal rail freight service between Rotterdam and the Melzo terminal near Milano during January.

The initial focus is on pallet-wide high cube 45 ft containers, curtain-siders, flatracks and reefers. The Rotterdam – Melzo transit time will be under 30 h, with traction provided through an agreement with Deutsche Bahn. From Melzo there will be connections to and from terminals in Padova, Frosinone and Bari.

Samskip said the initial five departures a week would offer ‘a major enhancement’ within its ‘fully integrated, pan-European shortsea and multimodal network’, building on block train services from Sweden offered through the Samskip Van Dieren Multimodal brand as well its shipping links to the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, the Baltic States, Russia and Iceland.

‘Customers in this important trade corridor are very demanding when it comes to both the reliability and sustainability of the services they use,’ said David Besseling, Samskip’s Multimodal Services Manager for Italy. ‘One selling point of this new service is that we have complete control over the train schedule, capacity and equipment, connecting intermodal and shortsea services to fit our customers' needs.’