Underground logistics systems: A way to cope with growing internal container traffic in the port of Antwerp?

Bert Vernimmen*, Wout Dullaert, Erik Geens, Theo Notteboom, Bob T'Jollyn, Walter Van Gilsen, Willy Winkelmans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


During the last decade, container traffic was the driving force behind the growth in cargo handling in the port of Antwerp, Belgium. Between 1995 and 2005 container traffic almost tripled, enabling Antwerp to increase its market share in the Hamburg-Le Havre range. Moreover, various recent studies indicate that container traffic will continue to grow strongly in the years to come. In order to be able to respond to these growth perspectives and to safeguard the future position of the port of Antwerp as a container mainport, a new tidal container dock has been built on the left bank of the river Scheldt, the so-called Deurganckdock. This dock will lead to large flows of internal port container traffic between both river banks. As the traditional hinterland transport modes offer insufficient capacity to accommodate the increasing number of containers in the long-term, it seems worthwhile to consider the idea of constructing a dedicated underground logistics system (ULS) to transfer containers between both river banks. This paper presents a first analysis of different variants of such a ULS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-416
Number of pages26
JournalTransportation Planning & Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


  • Container handling
  • Hinterland transport
  • Seaport
  • Underground logistics system


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