Seamlessly changing between transport modes
About 80,000 tons of rice is transported by rail from Novara (Italy) to Genk (Belgium) each year. From Genk, the cargo is transported by coaster to Olen where the rice is further processed. In case of urgency, however, there is always an option to transport by road at the last minute; this principle of seamlessly changing between transport modes when there are external problems is called synchromodality.
This multimodal transport was chosen due to the reliability and frequency of the rail connection and the linked coaster transport. It also offered a solution for the limited silo capacity at the recipient’s end. Important highways such as the E314 and the E313 were therefore avoided. One coaster crossing the Albert Channel transports the same as 25 trucks.