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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

New container hub in the heart of Europe

New container hub in the heart of Europe Photo: HHLA

Metrans, an intermodal subsidiary of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA), further expands its position in Central and Eastern Europe. The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, Chairman of HHLA’s Executive Board Klaus-Dieter Peters and Metrans Managing Director Peter Kiss today laid the foundation stone for a new railway hub terminal in the Hungarian capital, Budapest. It’s location makes it the ideal interface between the seaports of Northern Europe and South-Eastern Europe. Metrans and HHLA thereby further strengthen their hinterland network and improve connections to a key European growth region.

Klaus-Dieter Peters, Chairman of the Executive Board of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG, emphasises the strategic significance of the terminal: “The construction of the terminal in Budapest is part of our long-standing and determined strategy to further expand our intermodal activities. In doing so, we continue to focus more on our own resources. The new hub terminal in Budapest has a strategic function. With it, we have another hub for container transports that we can use to connect Central and Eastern European growth markets even more closely to our hinterland network. At the same time, we are able to improve our access to the regions of Southern and South-Eastern Europe, in particular the ports on the Adriatic Sea and in Greece.”

Peter Kiss, Managing Director of Metrans, sees significant opportunities for his company with the greater presence in Hungary: “Today, Metrans also has an annual transport volume of around 170,000 standard containers (TEU) in Hungary. We have been evaluating ways to increase our involvement in Hungary for a while. Now we have found the perfect location. From 2017, we will be able to offer our customers a high-performing facility.”

In addition to a railway connection, the terminal in Budapest also has a connection to the road network. There are also possibilities to develop the terminal further for trimodal use, which would enable inland ships to be handled via the Danube. Container trains are to be handled by two gantry cranes on six rails, each 650 metres long. Two additional rails, each 500 metres long, provide a connection to the empty container depot. It is expected that nearly 250 trains will be handled every month. This means that the terminal has an annual capacity of 250,000 TEU.

The new terminal in Budapest has been designed as a hub-and-shuttle terminal, just like the Metrans terminals in Prague, Česká Třebová and Dunajska Streda. A key advantage of shuttle trains lies in the fact that they can travel between seaports and hinterland hubs at very regular intervals. The higher frequency of hub and shuttle transportation significantly increases the reliability and, by extension, the attractiveness of the transport chain. Furthermore, there is no longer any need to spend time and energy shunting individual carriages thanks to the use of constant block train styles. The terminal in Budapest is scheduled to enter service in 2017. It is initially expected to create 200 new jobs.

At a glance

Total area: 165,000 m2

Tracks: 6 rails of 650 m, 2 rails of 500 m within the empties depot

Handling capacity: around 250 trains/month

Capacity: 250,000 TEU/year

Handling equipment: 2 gantry cranes and 2 reach-stackers, additionally 2 reach-stackers for the empties depot

Special features: expandable for trimodal use (Rail, Road, Danube)


  • Container repairs
  • On-site customs office
  • Reefer connections
  • Trucking with long-established sub-contractors

Start of construction: October 2015

Opening: 2017

Press release dated 22 October 2015



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