Wallonia, a strategic central position
The vast majority of the European economic market is directly accessible from Wallonia. A radius of 500 km is within one day’s travel from Wallonia! This market is at your doorstep thanks to an impressive transport network and high quality communication infrastructures. An area covering some twenty of Europe’s largest cities lies only a day’s travel away by road, a market with 400 million consumers. This guarantees efficiency thanks to deliveries in record times and without wasting precious time in traffic jams!
60 million inhabitants within 4 hours: with almost 900 km of fast-flowing motorways interconnected to the European motorway network, Wallonia has a dense mesh of communication channels that are perfectly adapted to the demands of international companies. This means that you can reach a population of almost 60 million inhabitants in 4 hours. An eight-hour lorry journey will take you through an area encompassing some twenty major cities in a half moon that extends from England to Spain.
With its 1,605 km of railway lines, Wallonia‘s rail network is one of the oldest but also one of the densest in Europe. In the industrial hotbeds of Liege and Hainaut, a great many private industrial track connections to the national and international network are used and allow environmentally-aware, efficiency-driven companies to opt for rail.
Goods transport is organised by B-Cargo, an entity that is part of Belgian railways, or SNCB. B-Cargo offers companies a conventional, purely rail-based transport option or, when the company is not in the direct vicinity of railways lines, combined rail/road transport.
The waterway network
The waterway network, stretching over 453 km, is connected to Northern Europe’s major ports (Antwerp, Ghent, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam) and joins up with France, Flanders, the Netherlands, Germany and beyond thanks to the major transatlantic and transoceanic lines.
Although it has no coastline, Wallonia has a significant waterway network that is interconnected with the major European ports and that serves as a gateway to Eastern Europe. The Autonomous Port of Liege (PAL) is the third largest inland port in Europe in terms of size, after Duisburg and before the Port of Paris. In 2010, the PAL handled 21 million tonnes of merchandise across all means of transport.
The Direction de la Promotion des Voies Navigables et de l’Intermodalité(DPVNI) is the department in charge of promoting waterway transport. This type of transport is witnessing a resurgence in the wake of the saturation of the road network, and given its low cost and ecological credentials.
With Liege Airport and Brussels South Charleroi Airport, Wallonia has two airports that carry a total of 640,000 tonnes of freight and 5 million passengers every year. 46 km from Brussels South airport you will also find Brussels-National airport, which handles more than 18 million passengers and almost 700,000 tonnes of freight a year. Furthermore, Luxembourg, Frankfurt and Paris are within easy reach.
A winning combination.
Wallonia operates 6 multimodal platforms (rail/waterway/road/air) equipped to handle every transport and logistical activity. These are:
- Charleroi Dry Port and its road, water, rail combination;
- Dry Port Mouscron-Lille International, a bimodal rail-road platform;
- Liege Logistics, that takes advantage of the installations at Bierset airport, of the motorway network around Liege and the railway track towards Brussels
- Renory, a trimodal platform (water, rail, road) for containers;
- Bressoux (road and rail ;
- Athus multimodal container terminal;
- Garocentre, a trimodal platform (water-road-rail) undergoing development and in the direct vicinity of La Louvière;
- Ardenne Logistics in Neufchâteau a stone’s throw away from France, Luxembourg and Germany.
In the near future, Liege Trilogiport, a project for a multimodal zone in Hermalle-sous-Argenteau, will give a significant boost to the capacities of the Autonomous Port of Liege;