A Strategic Partnership Agreement was signed about the provision of rail freight support and rail logistics services at the logistics centre to be built on the Debrecen International Airport by Dr. Imre Kovács, Chairman of the Board of Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt CEO, and István Herdon, President and CEO of Xanga Group. The signing will create the conditions for third modality logistics operations besides the presently available road and air freight logistics modes. Now in addition to the trimodal logistics centre operating in Budapest, Hungary will have another trimodal logistics centre in Debrecen, which will directly create 200 new short-term jobs. The agreement was signed by the parties in the presence of Lajos Kósa, Mayor of Debrecen, Gyula Győri, president of the National Transport Authority, and László Pál, Deputy General Manager of MÁV.
Dr. Imre Kovács pointed out at the event that the role of Debrecen and the region will appreciate along the European rail corridors with the revival of economic relations with the East. The European Union lays special emphasis on enhancing the preservation of the human environment, which means increasing the diversion of road freight traffic to the railways. The related regulations, as well as the imminent introduction of the electronic toll in Hungary together can significantly increase the economic potential emerging from the creation of a trimodal logistics centre at the Debrecen International Airport. The fact that Debrecen may become a turntable of the traffic flows from Romania and Bulgaria – alongside Railport Arad, which is also in the company's interest – is especially important for Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt. with the intensification of rail freight with these countries. Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt. therefore decided to offer siding services free of charge for this year, and projects an annual turnover of 50 thousand tons of rail traffic for the trimodal logistics centre.
For the period of implementation, the market-leading rail freight company will support the traffic boom of the project with corporate policy discounts and the development of complex service packages.
István Herdon, President and CEO of Xanga Group said that the equity investment and real estate development group under his management will invest 3.5 billion HUF to construct a rail transfer terminal, an industrial logistics hall and another industrial hall, and will also construct the road and utility networks of the base. Xanga Group, in cooperation with MÁV Zrt. has also upgraded the sidings of the site. Xanga Group, jointly with Rail Cargo Hungaria Zrt. will survey the railway transportation needs of Debrecen and its surroundings. Their cooperation also covers a common business development and marketing strategy.
István Herdon finally announced that the development of the trimodal logistics centre will be implemented as a priority project within the framework of The North Great Plain Operative Programme [Észak-Alföld Operatív Program] (ÉAOP).
Lajos Kósa, Mayor of Debrecen stressed in his speech that the Debrecen International Airport has become a transportation hub of special importance for Hungarian regions east of the Danube and regions along the borders – including Eastern Slovakia, Western Ukraine and Transylvania. Projects implemented over the past three years, the launch of scheduled flights, asset acquisitions, and the development of airport rail logistics services had clearly transformed Debrecen into a regional logistics hub essential in an international context. Today's strategic agreement and the on-going developments will result in 200 new jobs in the short term, but will create many more in the longer term. In the future, Eastern Hungarian rail freight will be increasingly diverted to the airport, thus relieving the community living by the railway station in the heart of the city from harmful disturbance.
László Pál, Deputy General Manager of MÁV stressed that the Hungarian Government pays special attention to the development of railways – major reconstructions have been carried out in recent years, and further reconstructions are in progress. The railway is in its renaissance in our country. This is evidenced by the creation of the trimodal logistics centre in Debrecen, and also by the launch of the preparatory works on the railway ring (V0) bypassing the capital as a branch of the Szolnok-Debrecen-Budapest-Cegléd line. As a national infrastructure operator, MÁV will make every effort – in parallel to these developments – to forward freight trains arriving from other regions or departing from the international airport as quickly as possible to their destinations.
Gyula Győri, Chairman of the National Transport Authority said at the event that the cooperation between the developer, the city, the market leader rail transport company and MÁV Zrt. is exemplary, adding that the NTA, as a rail transport authority, granted all possible legal support and will continue to provide such support for the main players of the project. He stressed that Hungary is also a winner of this cooperation, as the country will soon gain a second trimodal centre besides the Freeport of Csepel. He stated that he was confident that cities – with similar characteristics – in the rest of the country will think about the example set forth by Debrecen.