Major Investment to Address Automotive Industry Logistics Challenges Announcement

Imbalanced trades, capacity constraints at sea and in port, and lack of labor have put Europe’s best-performing finished vehicle handling ports and shipping companies to the test. Europe’s vehicle-handling ports have experienced several challenges in recent years, including the pandemic, semiconductor shortages, and disruptions caused by the Russia/Ukraine conflict. While 2022 was a year of geopolitical and economic turmoil, it was also a year of transportation and labor shortages, which have persisted into 2023 and are anticipated to remain for several years. 

Manufacturing and sales volumes in several European markets have yet to recover, and the lead time to restore Ro-Ro, trucking, and rail capacity will be years. While pent-up volume is projected to level off, overall capacity pressures are expected to persist, intensified by increased volume from OEMs and new requirements for electric vehicles. 

In response to the ongoing logistics challenges faced by the automotive industry, Sallaum Terminal in Antwerp has announced a significant investment to expand its operations. This 20-million-euro investment aims to enhance the company’s capacity to manage the increasing demands of the automotive sector and streamline logistics processes. 

Sallaum Terminal in the Port of Antwerp, the second-largest European seaport after Rotterdam, functions as the central hub of Sallaum Lines’ shipping activities in Europe. The terminal receives cargo from Belgium and all the surrounding European countries, including Germany, Switzerland, France, and Holland. 

Sallaum Terminal currently spans 240,000 sqm and accommodates 10,000 CEU (Car Equivalent Units). Moreover, the terminal features a massive berth line spanning 1,200 meters, capable of accommodating up to four vessels simultaneously. 

As part of the investment, Sallaum Terminal has outlined an ambitious renovation and expansion plan. A key component of this plan is the construction of a multi-story Parkhouse covering 47,000 sqm. With the completion of phase one of the multi-story Parkhouse project, the terminal’s capacity is set to expand to 15,000 units, making a significant enhancement in operational space.  

Upon the conclusion of phase two of the project, the terminal’s capacity will undergo further augmentation, reaching a total of 17,000 units, thereby significantly amplifying its capability to handle vehicle shipments efficiently and effectively. Given the current space constraints faced by many European terminals, Sallaum Terminal’s expanded capacity is considered a timely and strategic move. 

Mr. David Vanballaert, the terminal’s Managing Director, emphasized the strategic importance of this development. “While Sallaum Lines has been the sole operator at the terminal, the expansion plans will enable us to accommodate new carriers and OEMs, allowing them to benefit from our terminal’s strategic location,” stated Vanballaert. 

Sallaum Terminal offers a comprehensive range of services designed to meet the diverse logistics needs. These services include Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI), breakbulk and project cargo handling, and the management of heavy lifts. The terminal is also equipped to handle truck and rail operations, providing a seamless integration with various transportation modes. 

Additionally, the terminal offers extensive storage and warehousing solutions, ensuring that vehicles and cargo are securely stored until they are ready for distribution. 

Looking ahead, Sallaum Terminal has set ambitious goals to enhance its environmental performance further. With a vision to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, the terminal is actively exploring and investing in additional sustainable technologies and practices to reduce its ecological footprint further and contribute to a cleaner, greener future for the maritime industry.  

In alignment with its commitment to sustainability, the terminal is investing in a cutting-edge shore power connection system, significantly reducing emissions and environmental impact. This allows vessels to shut down their engines and connect to the local electrical grid while docked at the terminal, enabling them to draw power for onboard operations, such as lighting, heating, and cooling, without relying on auxiliary generators, thereby eliminating harmful emissions associated with traditional diesel-powered operations. Indeed, sustainability takes center stage considering all the energy consumption being sourced from green and clean sources, primarily generated through the utilization of solar panels and wind turbines. 

Sallaum Terminal’s substantial investment in expanding and renovating its terminal is a strategic move to address the logistics challenges currently faced by the automotive industry. With this expansion, Sallaum Terminal addresses a critical need in the market, offering additional space and improved logistics capabilities for carriers and OEMs looking for efficient solutions in Europe.