Port and logistics infrastructure specialist Hamburg Port Consulting (HPC) has put forward operational development design plans for the BILK intermodal terminal in Budapest. The BILK terminal, which is one of Hungary's largest intermodal logistics hubs had a throughput of 230,000 TEU last year. However, cargo handling capacity has almost been reached and adjacent land for expansion is not available. The terminal currently handles mainly maritime containers, for which it was initially designed, but the demand for handling trailers and other continental traffic is significantly increasing.
"In asking HPC to carry out this work, we wish to take further advantage of Budapest terminal's unique location. We have realized the changing demands of our customers and are actively working on solutions together with our partners," explained Attila Czöndör, CEO of BILK. “We manage maritime, continental and Eurasian traffic at the same time at the terminal and want to ensure that all of this traffic, with its different characteristics, can be handled flexibly, yet punctually and reliably.”
The HPC has prepared a detailed assessment that considers a wide range of options for increasing terminal capacity. It includes a study of the current terminal capacity (racks, lift, yard, gate) and sensitivity analysis of comprehensive planning parameters such as reducing unit dwell times and spreading of the volumes among all traffic types.
In addition, the company studied the effects of faster gate procedures and a reduction of gate peaks using technology solutions such as pre-announcement, optical character recognition (OCR), and self-check-in.
Another focus point of HPC’s plan is to improve safety in the terminal. The significant increase in annual volumes will put undoubted stress on current operational processes in the form of limited space availability and crossing traffics, which may have a negative impact on workplace safety.
“We see a real need to optimally adapt terminals, BILK among them, to the changing requirements of the railway companies. Growing traffic from the Eurasian region and higher proportions of non-stackable cargo in the continental traffic are leading to new challenges to which the terminal layout and processes must adapt in order to offer competitive services in the long term,” commented Frank Busse, Associate Partner and Business Development Manager Europe at HPC.