Salt Shipments via Wesel Town Port: Optimised Logistics Strengthen esco Plant Borth

Since the beginning of 2015, the esco plant Borth has been making use of Wesel town port for salt shipments onto barges. The company has invested a total of approximately eight million euros into this new logistics concept. Together with the project partners – the Hülskens company and Wesel town port – the new transshipment facility has been officially inaugurated on 13 February, 2015.

The esco plant Borth (above), the official inauguration event at Harbor Wesel on 13 Feb. 2015 (2nd photo), and barge loading / salt unloading at Harbor Wesel

With a share of about one third of the total production, transportation by barge on the Rhine is an important transport route for the Borth salt plant, which ensures that many markets are reached. Large quantities of bulk salt can be transported this way to customers in Germany and abroad in an economic and environmentally friendly way. The new concept also ensures greater flexibility with fluctuating demand.

The hitherto necessary intermediate transport from the plant by a mine-connecting train and the unloading of railway cars, as well as transshipment onto barges with a grab crane in Momm port, is now replaced by the new concept.

"In order to ensure efficient and flexible supply to customers in Germany and abroad for the future, and therefore to fulfil an important prerequisite for the further development of the plant, we have sought ways of both meeting the growing requirements of customers and increasing the economic efficiency of the transport chain in the long term", states Stephan Gatz, Manager Supply Chain at esco.

The decision to relocate inland waterway transshipment to Wesel town port was already taken in mid-2013, after the new concept was developed jointly with the existing logistics partner Hülskens and Stadtwerke Wesel. The reorganisation of Wesel town port, but also the construction of a new bypass and the Rhine bridge, were an important basis for reorganising the logistics. In the meantime, Wesel town port is being operated by the company DeltaPort, newly established by the municipal utilities and other public authorities.

"As part of the new logistics concept, it was necessary to set up an additional warehouse in the Borth plant, in which four different product qualities can be stocked", explains Dirk Heinrich, Head of Production and Technology above ground, who helped to organise the project. "We have also established automated truck loading facilities for tipper trucks with tarpaulin covers, which transport the salt to the port". In Wesel town port, the salt is emptied into a deep bunker at a purpose-built unloading station, and from there it is transferred to barges via conveyor belts and bulk loaders. In this conception, particular emphasis was put on a closed transport cycle which takes current and future quality and environmental protection aspects into account.