New unaccompanied Basel–Milan train
A new Frenkendorf–Melzo shuttle started operations recently. It is a joint venture between the Basel-based neutral intermodal operator IMS Rail Switzerland and the Italian logistics service provider Hannibal (part of the Contship Italia group). The twice-weekly unaccompanied combined transport service will be operated with rolling stock from the Swiss rail transport provider BLS, and will run between the container terminals in Frenkendorf (near Basel, Switzerland) and Melzo (east of Milan, Italy).
The transhipment options offered there and the new shuttle train’s schedule will take advantage of networks run by Sogemar. From Melzo locomotives operated by Oceanogate Italia, which is part of the Contship Italia group (just as Hannibal and Sogemar are), offer scheduled direct connections to and from terminals in the Italian seaports of Genoa (Voltri Mare and Sech), La Spezia (LSCT) and Ravenna on a daily basis – and partially even more frequently than that.
Transfer from north to south
The Frenkendorf–Melzo shuttle fulfils a long-sought-after requirement of the Swiss economy and of Swiss freight forwarders, to link Italian terminals by a seamless rail link to Switzerland. This is important to enable the country to rely less heavily on carrying out its maritime traffic via the northern ports of Rotterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp and simultaneously enables forwarders to benefit from the much shorter overseas routes from the Far East to the Mediterranean Sea as compared to the North Sea.