Van den Bosch; ever-increasing intermodal focus

Late 2007, the Transfennica network was extended with a service between Zeebrugge and Bilbao three times a week: the Motorways of the Sea. This was very special, considering the origin of Transfennica and the network that had been built up in the Baltic over many years. However, ‘shiploads’ of experience were already available on shipping containers (IMDG) via short sea shipping and additional requirements such as heating, temperature registration, etc. With these additional services during transport (and at the terminals) also in mind, Van den Bosch started to cooperate with Transfennica already in 2008. Since then, Van den Bosch has experienced the value of an intermodal solution via a fast and regular short sea shipping connection between southern and north-western Europe.

From 2008 onwards, things went fast; the speed of the service (approx. 38 hours per crossing) in combination with prompt departure and arrival times of a regular service make this intermodal solution very suitable in the supply chain of Van den Bosch and its customers. From then in, time critical products requiring the speed of road transport could be shipped via an intermodal solution of a green nature and with less CO2 emission than before. As a result of these properties of the service, the cooperation between both parties was intensified today’s level almost from the start.

The start of the cooperation was also the beginning of the downturn in the economy and it created pressure on the intermodal concept. Southern Europe was hit especially with a resulting decreasing demand, pressure on the rates and overcapacity in traditional road transport ogling at intermodal cargo. Despite the challenges of these times the focus of Van den Bosch on Spain, being an international growth market, remained unchanged equally strong. The intensive cooperation between both parties remained intact by mutual adaptations where necessary. During2013, Transfennica and Van den Bosch so far saw the economic downturn stabilise in southern Europe and they carefully predict (a small) growth for 2014.

With the intermodal concept, Van den Bosch has gone in a direction which was held on to despite the past challenging years; Van den Bosch is a downright adapter in this respect. Considering the still growing number of tank containers in the organisation, this focus has not changed and the road chosen to remove as many tonnes kilometres from the road as possible is continued. This focus was adopted by the entire organisation; intermodal has the future.

To the entire Van den Bosch organisation: congratulations on achieving this beautiful milestone! Considering your willingness to adapt to required circumstances over the last 50 years, we wish Van den Bosch a future at least as healthy and for as long a period of time.


Michael Brouwer
Marketing Communication
Transfennica Nederland B.V.


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