Port of Dunkerque and Metz Now Connected by Rail Shuttle

11th June 2019

Logistics BusinessPort of Dunkerque and Metz Now Connected by Rail Shuttle

Dunkerque-Port is continuing to develop its combined transport plan with the implementation of the Flanders Express (FLEX) rail service to the East of France, which came into service last Wednesday (5 June).

Created in 2013, NPS has gradually developed a network of containerized river services between Dunkerque and the main inland ports of the Hauts-de-France Region. With the setting-up of a rail service between Dunkerque and Metz, the operator has integrated a new mode of high-volume transport into its services accessing a major economic area.

The FLEX service will offer a weekly round trip during the start-up phase with Metz, the inland port for the Lorraine region, perfectly timed with various regular shipping lines calling at Dunkerque, in particular the OCEAN ALLIANCE Asia service. This new positioning on the East of France, Dunkerque’s natural hinterland, will offer shippers in the East of France a new, high-volume and sustainable alternative.

The operator plans to quickly increase the frequency of the shuttle service to 2 round trips per week to provide greater flexibility. The slot for this second rotation is already included in the transport plan for the traction provider FRET SNCF.

Stéphane Raison, President of the Executive Board of Dunkerque-Port, says: “The start-up of the FLEX service is a new step in the development of the containerized port of Dunkerque, which is also France’s leading rail port. With this shuttle, NPS will offer a differentiated service, likely to create new opportunities for modal shifts in the heart of a very dense economic region. The launch of this service at the same time as the European Sustainable Development Week is obviously a strong signal of our port’s commitment to high-volume transport.”