MSC is investing in the construction of Portugal’s largest dry port in Lousado, aiming to cater to exporters and shippers in the north of the country.
The terminal will have an estimated area of 200,000 sq m and storage capacity of 10,000 teu, following the investment made via MSC’s rail freight operator Medway, which has a 90% market share in Portugal.
This new railway station at Lousado will serve the second largest economic region in Portugal through direct connections to the port of Sines.
The dry port’s six rail lines will be of a European standard of 750 m each, serving 12 to 14 trains per day.
It is hoped that the development will increase the use of electric railways compared to road, and hence have a positive impact on traffic congestion and CO2 emissions, thus providing a more sustainable mode of freight transportation.
Giuseppe Prudente, MSC’s chief logistics officer, said: “We are very pleased to implement this new agreement, which will lead to the construction of what will be the largest dry terminal in the Iberian Peninsula.
“Using the latest-generation technology, this will be among the most modern dry terminals in the world and the answer to the logistics needs of local companies, making exports and imports easier and thus contributing to the region’s prosperity.”
The project is proceeding with the cooperation and support of public institutions, such as the local City Hall of Famalicão and Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP).
Portugal is planning major infrastructure investments to enhance rail connectivity, including 19 rail projects with a total budget of €4.1bn (US$4.7bn).
The new terminal at Lousado will be connected to the national rail network and the main corridors to the port of Sines, and would allow for trans-border service connecting the Iberian Peninsula to the rest of Europe.
Construction will begin as soon as the required licences have been approved and is expected to be operational by March 2020.
Northern Portugal accounts for about 39% of the national exports and 29% of the national economy and its main industries include textiles clothing, footwear and metallurgy as well as medium- and high-tech sectors such as automotive components, pharmaceuticals, machinery, precision and communication equipment and computers.