The geographic position of Serbia enables ideal conditions for the development of the concept of dry ports, as it is close to all the big Adriatic and Black Sea ports, and the locations in the country planned for the development of this concept allow for an unlimited expansion of terminals, which is of special importance when it comes to the transport of containers. The “dry ports” option in Serbia has also been made possible by the “Belt and Road” initiative and the construction of the Belgrade-Budapest high-speed railway.
The Port of Thessaloniki got interested in the construction of land container terminals, so-called “dry ports”, in late 2019. As the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure of Serbia confirmed for eKapija, after the initial talks, representatives of the Port of Thessaloniki visited a location in Makis, and the potentials of a new port in Belgrade and the intermodal terminal in Batajnica were presented as well.
– Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there's been a certain delay, but the negotiations are expected to intensify once the travel restrictions are lifted, due to the need to consider all the options in the field – the ministry says.
The Port of Thessaloniki is only one of the ports considered in planning the development of ports and land terminals.
– For Serbia, the ports of Piraeus, Constanta, Rijeka, Kopar and Drac are also of great importance. All these ports are very important for the import, but primarily for Serbia's export and the operations of river ports. In other words, land terminal must follow the development of these maritime ports so as to enable the domestic economy to efficiently sell its products in foreign markets – they point out.
All river ports connected with the rail network and all intermodal terminals can be considered a kind of land terminals. The main problem of the terminals in Serbia is that they are insufficiently connected with the maritime ports in the region to be considered true land terminals.
– The proof of this is in the insufficient representation and development of container transport in Serbia, though the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure has been making important steps towards addressing this issue in the past two years, through the projects of the new port in Belgrade, the development of the Port of Novi Sad and the construction of the intermodal terminal in Batajnica – the ministry says.
Let us remind that the new intermodal terminal at the Danube Port in Pancevo opened in May. Dry Port Terminals has been founded with the purpose of connecting rail, road and water transport of containers