Ekol develops intermodal transport

Just a few weeks ago Ekol Logistics announced opening an office in the 16th country – Sweden but the company also keeps developing intermodal connections. Right now Ekol owns not only two ports (one in Trieste, Italy and a new one in Yalova, close to Istanbul), 6 Ro-Ros and more than 5,500 transport means, but it also has 48 dedicated block train trips per week. The strategy of Ekol is to develop

“Our strategy is to have more and more block trains in Europe. We would also like to increase the Ro-Ro capacity in our network and it is what we are doing. We are glad to announce the increase in the number of our vessel connections between France and Turkey to two per week and the increase in the number of train connections Sete to Paris to two per week. On top of that we have also added a completely new train connection from Sete to Zeebrugge, Belgium. In this way we can connect France, the Benelux, Sweden and the UK with South Europe, Turkey, the Middle East and Maghreb. At the same time this step makes Sete  our main Hub in the South European region. This new route can be utilized for the future volumes between South Europe and Sweden or Nordics countries. It is supporting growth also in  “the youngest” country where Ekol has own organization – Sweden.“– said Alaa Jennane, the Director of Engineering Business Development of Ekol. 
It is more than 1,200 km between these cities and it takes nearly 22 hours for the new Ekol train to connect Sete and Zeebrugge.  It goes two times per week with the capacity of 44 units per train and leaves Sete on Wednesdays and Sundays at 18:30 and arrives at Zeebrugge on Thursdays and Mondays at 16:00. From Zeebrugge the train leaves on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:30 and arrives on Wednesdays and Saturdays at  7:50. 
This train will substitute another one between Trieste and Zeebrugge but it has a bigger capacity.
Ekol implements the second weekly train between Sete and Paris (in the first few months it was just one time per week). It takes nearly 14 hours to connect Sete and Paris with the capacity of maximum 50 units per train and it will be the longest train in Ekol network. 
It is worth stressing that both trains (Sete - Paris and Sete - Zeebrugge) are developed in collaboration with VIIA as the rail operator. 
Thanks to the opening of this new train connection and increasing the frequency of the current ones, Ekol “saves” monthly 914 000 kg of CO2 and more than 41,000 trees that are equivalent of a forest of the size of 97 football fields. 
Ekol Logistics has just started to use a new vessel, FADIQ, with the capacity of 280 trailers. The capacity can         be increased to 340 units as it can accommodate double stack containers. With the length of 210 meters and the freight capacity of 32,770 tons gross, FADIQ can achieve the top speed of 21.3 knot.
 “The launch of our second  vessel  from/to Sete connecting Spain with Turkey and the Middle East two times per week will completely change the market between those countries.” - said Jordi Perez, Business Development Manager Ekol Spain.
The first step was taken by launching a connection using one of  Ekol vessels, AYSHE, four years ago. It is the fastest Ro-Ro in the world and it allowed Ekol to connect Sete and Izmir in only 56 hours. It departs on Thursday evenings from Sete and arrives in Izmir on Sunday mornings and completes the round trip back in Sete on Tuesday nights. This allowed many customers in Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia to increase their sales and to continue their change in the procurement strategy:  buying more in short cycles.
The second vessel which starts  in  March, will depart on Sunday evenings  from Sete and arrive in Izmir on Wednesday nights. From Izmir the departure will be on Thursday mornings with the  arrival in Sete on Sunday mornings.  It is worth stressing that in Ekol network Izmir area and Istanbul area are connected by frequent ferry shuttle services between these two ports.
“Customers will receive an end to end service, including customs services, all provided by Ekol. The transit time is faster even than airfreight. All sectors will be able to use this advantage and will be more competitive and successful. It is worth mentioning that Ekol Spain connects  over 100 important areas in Europe and we are also planning to introduce a service between Sete and Lavrio in Greece two times per week.”– added Perez. 
Dimitris Batakis, Country Manager of Ekol Greece, is very enthusiastic about the new service:
“Thanks to having this  vessel we can connect Turkey with Sete two times per week and we will also make a stop in Lavrio, close to Athens. It means we can not only increase the frequency of sailing but also connect Greece with Spain, France, Turkey and the Middle East even better. Shipments which we collect  for example from Paris, Lyon, Barcelona, Madrid or Valencia on Wednesday can be delivered to shops in Athens on Monday.” – said Dimitris Batakis, Country Manager Ekol Greece.
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