ECS received this year's Baanbrekers prize for its efforts around sustainable rail transport. That prize has been awarded annually since 2019 by Multimodaal Vlaanderen, the multimodal advisory centre of the innovation platform for the Flemish logistics sector VIL. The market leader in supply chain and intermodal transport received the award for its plans to further increase the proportion of containers transported by rail by 2030. To make this possible, a new high-bay warehouse will be commissioned at its headquarters in Zeebrugge in April 2023.
During an interactive awards show at Technopolis, Heidi Hendrix, Head of Customer & Product Management at Infrabel, presented the Baanbreker Spoor award to Hugo Donche, Supply Chain and Development Director at ECS. Currently, ECS transports more than 300,000 loads annually, with 30% of the distance in intermodal transport via rail. In the coming years, full efforts will be made to further increase the share via rail. "This award is especially in recognition of all our employees who make this modal shift a reality and continue to believe in the power of rail," Hugo Donche thanked on receiving the award. "Because our people carry this vision every day, we can make a difference as a logistics player."
Increasing the share of rail transport not only has a positive effect on the congestion of the road network, it also significantly reduces CO2 emissions. To make that plan possible, ECS is currently finalising the new high-bay expansion at the existing low-bay warehouse on Lanceloot Blondeellaan, near the main Zeebrugge site. The high-bay extension will be operational by April 2023. These high-bay warehouses are a great example of the scale-up potential of the current rail-connected warehouse capacity.
The main reason for expanding the capacity of rail-linked warehouses is to reduce the share of road transport. This fits in with ECS's CSR philosophy of "Creating Sustainable & Reliable logistics". The aim is therefore to have as many optimally filled containers and trailers as possible, transported across Europe by train.