The subsidiary will serve to extend CargoBeamer's service into the French market through an inaugural project in Calais. The terminal will be located at the Calais Premier multimodal logistics park established by DCB International and when it begins operating by the end of 2015 will have capacity to handle up to 800 semitrailers per day.

CargoBeamer's unique parallel loading and unloading system works by allowing the lorry to drive onto a specially-developed loading pocket (pictured below) which transfers the semitrailer laterally. The tractor unit can then leave the terminal, even if the train has not arrived. When the train reaches the terminal, freight can be loaded and unloaded simultaneously, and according to CargoBeamer a 36-wagon consist can be handled in just 15 minutes. This allows semitrailers that cannot be lifted by conventional cranes to travel by rail, and because all moving equipment is installed below solebar height, the system can operate on electrified sidings without interfering with catenary.

With Calais handling up to 3.2 million lorries travelling to and from Britain and continental Europe every year, CargoBeamer says the installation has huge market potential to speed up freight transport and make it cheaper and more environmentally-friendly.

"France is one of the most important logistics markets in Europe," says Dr Imad Jenayeh, president of CargoBeamer France SAS. "In addition France as a transit country in the flow of goods from Britain and the Iberian peninsula is of particular relevance to us."