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Leading logistics solutions specialists P&O Ferrymasters and the Transmec Group are partnering to expand their intermodal operations with the launch of a regular rail service linking Italy and Romania.

Using private rail operators under a dedicated company train concept, the service starts on June 1 with two departures per week each way between Piacenza and Oradea, leaving every Wednesday and Saturday. An additional weekly departure is planned within a few months.

The collaboration provides a major new freight transport option for companies serving markets in southern and eastern Europe. Key features also include a fixed terminal-to-terminal transit time of 40 hours, up to 80 weekly slots, an own-asset fleet of 300 Huckepack trailers and more than 2,500 45-foot containers, forward shipments/collections and an extensive office network with dedicated staff.

Responding to increasing customer demand, the launch follows the success of the intermodal operation between Zeebrugge (Belgium) and Romania launched by the companies in 2014.

Coinciding with the new service, P&O Ferrymasters and Transmec have invested 50/50 in the Oradea facility to set up their own private terminal – replacing the current Romanian railhead in Curtici – and are now upgrading the infrastructure. Future operations and marketing will be geared towards providing terminal services to third party rail operators as well as hosting the partnership’s own trains from Zeebrugge and Piacenza.