About LessThanWagonLoad - Project Summary


The LessThanWagonLoad project has the objective to develop a smart specialised logistics cluster for the chemical industry in the Port of Antwerp in order to shift transport volumes from road to rail freight. The advantage of shifting volumes from the road to rail is nearly 3x less CO2 emissions per tonkm, less air pollution and reduction of road congestion. Furthermore this project will lead to more efficient and sustainable freight transport in Europe.

The objective will be realised by:

  • Launching a rail transport solution for ‘less than wagon load’. In this concept ‘less than truck load’ volumes are bundled in the logistical hub and transported by rail freight. The smallest loading unit actually in rail freight is a single-wagon-load or a container put on an intermodal train. Offering a competitive and green solution for transport of single pallets through Europe can lead to a break-through in realising the modal shift to low-emission rail freight. Read more

  • Offering new added value rail freight services for the chemical industry. The chemical industry is subject to strict security and safety standards for the transport of dangerous goods. The current rail freight solutions in the Port of Antwerp are not always adapted to this specific context. By offering new specialised services on and around the logistical hub Antwerp Mainhub, we can remove barriers and reduce the cost to use rail freight. Services that will be assessed are:

    • Cross docking services for pallets in a rail connected warehouse
    • Specialised parking, repair and picking services for chemical wagons
    • Advanced cleaning & repair services for chemical wagons & tank trucks
    • Improved rail connections by combining conventional and intermodal volumes

This more attractive offer will also drive the modal shift to low-emission rail freight. Read more


The project primarily focuses on Antwerp and the chemical industry. As major logistical hub in Europe, it is strategically positioned and connected to 3 of the 9 TEN-T freight corridors. With presence of 11 of the 15 largest chemical companies in the world, Antwerp is the largest chemical cluster in Europe. Despite the fact that Antwerp is well connected with low-emission transport networks such as inland waterways and rail, most transport of intermediate or finished chemical products is still done by truck, leading to important CO2 emissions, air pollution and road congestion in and around Antwerp.

However, the new concepts can also be leveraged to other logistical hubs with other industries. This will be demonstrated at a second logistical hub Nola, in the south of Italy. This broad implementation potential increases the impact on European society.


Realising the LessThanWagonLoad project will contribute in a substantial way in realising the European Commission’s ambition to shift 30% of road freight over 300km to low-emission modes by 2030. The potential benefits of the project for European society are very important and diverse:

  • Environmental improvements (less GHG emissions)
  • Reduced costs of rail freight
  • Increased inter-modality and higher resilience of the transport system
  • Local economic growth and employment
  • Less congestion and traffic casualties
  • Less risk on social dumping
  • Safety enhancement


Project Coordinator: Lineas, Belgium

Project Consortium: 11 partners from 5 member states

Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4. - SOCIETAL CHALLENGES - Smart, Green And Integrated Transport

Project ID: 723274

Total cost: EUR 3 994 318,75

EC Contribution: EUR 3 994 318,75

Duration: 2017-05-01 to 2020-04-30

LessThanWagonLoad flyer: Download