Rice from Italy to Olen

The synchromodal way

Synchromodality is the transport of goods – without changing the loading unit – whereby real-time changes can be made in the flexible and sustainable use of different transport modalities in a network. The logistics service provider has the control to be able to offer optimally integrated solutions for all parties.

Rice factory

Rice factory

The concept of synchromodality is starting to gain more publicity in the logistics world. Usually in this context it is a transport solution from a seaport to the hinterland, while the continental variant remains underexposed. Move Intermodal offers such a solution to a number of its customers. This way it can reduce transport costs and increase the reliability of the service. For a large processor of rice from Olen, Move directs the supply of their raw materials via a synchromodal concept. In the Northern Italian region of Piedmont, one of the largest rice producing regions in Europe, many bulk containers are loaded daily at rice producers. These are taken by truck to the rail terminal in Novara where they are loaded on one of the block trains of Move. Within 48 hours the containers will be transported to Genk by rail. They are placed there in storage and are delivered on demand in Olen.

Delivery reliability

This also means a transshipment to an inland vessel that brings the rice to the factory by 600 tons (22 containers) via the Albert canal. When the urgency is high, however, one can opt for an urgent delivery of one or more containers by road. This choice can be made at the last moment, allowing real-time switching between modalities. Any delays can therefore be accommodated flexibly. The rice supply is thus stored in the transport chain, close to the production facility. A stable supply of production raw materials is therefore guaranteed.

Cost reduction 

Due to the high delivery reliability, the risk of production shutdown due to lack of rice is low. In addition, no valuable silos are needed to store the product. The goods are delivered on demand 

Albert Canal seen from the Olen dock

Albert Canal seen from the Olen dock – ©Joop van Meer

and directly taken into the production process. Standard delivery via the water also saves 14,000 kilos of CO2 per ship in addition to the costs for an equivalent of trucks. It also relieves the pressure on the already congested road network. A fourth reduction is still realized because the ship can be unloaded in off-peak hours. As a result, the deployment of staff can be spread out and handling costs are optimized. The advantages that Move Intermodal achieves with continental synchromodality are evident and can also be applied to other shippers without major adjustments.

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