The HHLA intermodal company Metrans is building another rail terminal in Hungary in order to expand its transport services along the Adriatic Corridor and to-wards Southern and South-Eastern Europe. A corresponding agreement has been signed between the subsidiary of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and the Hungarian government. The hub terminal will be built in Zalaegerszeg, which is lo-cated on the transport axis to the Adriatic ports of Trieste, Koper and Rijeka.
Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, emphasises the strategic importance of the project to the logistics company: “We are investing in Hungary because we see sig-nificant potential there for the rail transportation of the future. The Adriatic Corridor is developing into an extremely important European transport axis. That is why we also recently acquired a port ter-minal in the Italian city of Trieste. And Hungary, with its location at the heart of Europe, is of key sig-nificance to the expansion of the Metrans network towards Southern and South-Eastern Europe as well. I would like to thank the Hungarian ministries and the relevant authorities in the region for the good cooperation.”
Peter Kiss, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Metrans Group, has announced investments of over € 40 million to construct and equip the new terminal. “This major financial investment demon-strates how important Hungary is to the further development of Metrans. We want to grow in Hungary and with the Hungarian people. The planned terminal will help to give the country a further boost towards becoming one of the most efficient logistical hubs in Europe.”
The foundations will be laid in autumn of this year after the necessary legal framework has been cre-ated. The first section of the facility shall go into operation as early as 2023. The total investment of over € 40 million includes a grant from Hungarian institutions amounting to approx. € 11 million. Metrans expects that approximately 120 new jobs will be created in Zalaegerszeg.
The volume of containers transported by rail in Hungary has grown steadily in recent years. Metrans has benefited from this, especially through the hub terminal in Budapest which opened in 2017. In the first year, approximately 250,000 standard containers (TEU) were handled at the facility, and this in-creased to 425,000 TEU in 2019. Despite the restrictions in place as a result of the coronavirus pan-demic, the number of containers handled in 2020 has remained stable overall.
Regular block trains operated by Metrans connect Hungary, via Budapest and the Slovakian city of Du-najska Streda, to the North Sea ports of Hamburg, Bremerhaven and Rotterdam as well as to Duis-burg, and the Adriatic ports of Trieste and Koper. The entire European intermodal network of Metrans now comprises 17 of its own and other associated terminals. This network, and specifically the Buda-pest terminal, are also a key component in the New Silk Road.