Inland shipping specialist NPRC opens branch in Tournai
Cooperative of inland shipping enterprises strengthens position in Belgian logistics
Doornik, 1 August 2022
A congested road network and sustainable transport are leading to increased demand for water transportation. To facilitate this, NPRC, the largest inland shipping specialist in Europe, has opened an office in Tournai. Strategically located on the Upper Scheldt in Wallonia, the perfect addition to the branch in Antwerp, Flanders. Wallonia is a source for many raw construction materials and a lot of agricultural companies are active in the nearby region of northern France. In addition, many semi-finished products in the steel industry are processed in French-speaking Belgium.
Cooperative in the chain
The cooperative model with long-term partnerships with both shippers and inland shipping specialists, is clearly catching on in the Belgian market. In the coming years, NPRC will further expand these partnerships in Wallonia and Northern France with a keen eye for logistics innovation and sustainability. From the new location in Tournai, NPRC is also located closer to its local customers in the construction, agriculture and steel industry.
Logistical value of the region
The choice for the location in Tournai is logistically appealing for the long term. By investing in the waterway network, inland shipping offers a solution in the sustainable supply and transport of goods for companies in the region. Mario Lauwers, manager of NPRC in Belgium, including the Antwerp office, explains: “NPRC currently already transports a third of the construction materials that are transported via the Scheldt to processors in Belgium and the Netherlands. In these countries, as well as in France, there will be largescale projects in the coming years for housing construction and (repair) construction of infrastructure. In response to this demand, together with the companies in the region and our members, we will develop reliable and sustainable logistics solutions. This way, we will also be making an important contribution to the reduction in road transport on the congested road network. The NPRCs presence in Rotterdam, Duisburg, Mannheim, and Paris also means we can make further connections by water with companies in other European countries. The NPRC members regularly transport fertiliser from Mannheim to Denain, for example.”
The opening of the Tournai branch is in line with NPRC’s strategy to offer its 140 members the widest possible shipping area throughout Europe. Wallonia and Northern France are now being added. Through this expansion, NPRC also chooses to give the membership base a stronger European character.
Femke Brenninkmeijer, CEO of NPRC: “Cooperative inland shipping specialists provide the most value in the chain and create the best conditions for continuity for our customers. This also applies to Belgian inland shipping specialists who understand the power of the collective. We also have a Belgian board member in our Members’ Advisory Council. More than 10% of our cooperative now consists of Belgian members.”
Patrick Claeys, inland shipping entrepreneur on the motor vessel Arwen and a Belgian board member on the members’ advisory council of NPRC: “Over 8 years ago I became the first Belgian enterprise to join NPRC. The cooperative gives me security and efficient use of my ship. The opening of the office in Tournai enables NPRC to offer even better connecting trips in the area.”
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