Release Date:
Release ID: 5037


Antwerp, December 7 2010 - Building on its strength in the transport of maritime containers from the ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge and Rotterdam, plus continental container movements from Belgium to Spanish, French, Italian and Romanian destinations, IFB has decided to increase its network into South-East Europe by employing some specialised ICF staff and resources. Herewith IFB assures continuity in this area.

Discussions have been ongoing with the natural partner in that area, ICF Intercontainer-Interfrigo SA, with the intention of aligning the two companies on a common strategy for growth but it soon became apparent that a single, focussed network management approach was the most efficient way to meet future customer requirements. IFB has therefore reached an agreement with ICF to continue to employ some staff and resources involved in the South–East corridor and to integrate them into their corporate structure, effectively IFB East.

IFB East will be offering a new and unified presence in the market, responding to the changing political and economic landscape which shapes the evolution of intermodal freight flows. The immediate objective is that the quality of service will be maintained during this formative period of change as destinations in Germany, Turkey and Greece are added to the IFB network. New developments are planned for introduction during 2011 with an augmented choice of terminals and enhanced timetable of train services which will offer freight consignors a wider range of logistical alternatives.

Geert Pauwels, CEO IFB and Head of SNCB Freight Division said: "IFB has today sent a clear signal to the market that we intend to develop the South–East rail corridor, concentrating on improved levels of service, fastest possible transit times and reliable performance. Our business is to deliver pan-European intermodal freight movements and by extending our network to Turkey and Greece we are demonstrating our continued commitment to our customers."

Bart Van der Cruysse, involved at ICF in the development of the way forward for the different businesses, said: “Turkey, Greece, but also other countries in South-East Europe belong to an economic area with an enormous potential. IFB positioning itself in the important West - South-East corridor appears exactly at the right time. With the transfer of some resources and staff and its vast know how from ICF to IFB, IFB possesses the instruments for offering high quality service to their existing and new customers.
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