The LessThanWagonLoad project has the objective to develop a smart specialized logistics cluster for the chemical industry in the Port of Antwerp in order to shift transport volumes from road to rail freight. This objective will be realised by developing: (i) a new rail transport solutions for single pallets (we call this LWL ‘less than wagon load’ in analogy with existing LTL ‘less than truck load’ transport) and (ii) new added value rail freight services for the industry within the Antwerp chemical cluster. These potential new services consist of parking, repair, picking and cleaning for chemical wagons, rail connected cross docking of pallets and improved rail connections by setting up mixed trains with conventional and maritime container volumes.

The project primarily focuses on Antwerp and the chemical industry. But the new concepts can also be leveraged to other logistical hubs with other industries. This will be demonstrated at a second logistical hub Nola, in the south of Italy. This broad implementation potential increases the impact on European society.

Realising the LessThanWagonLoad project will contribute in a substantial way in realizing the EC’s ambition to shift 30% of road freight over 300km to low-emission modes by 2030. The potential benefits of the project for European society are very important and diverse: (i) environmental improvements (less GHG emissions), (ii) reduced costs of rail freight, (iii) increased inter-modality and higher resilience of the transport system, (iv) local economic growth and employment, (v) less congestion and traffic casualties and (vi) less risk on social dumping.