Infracapital is seeking to increase its presence in the burgeoning Benelux inland-shipping sector, having acquired one of the largest container logistics companies in the Netherlands.

The infrastructure equity investment arm of M&G has signed an agreement to purchase 100% of Multimodal Container Services (MCS), which ships approximately 100,000 containers per year from its three terminals in Meppel, Groningen and Leeuwarden.

MCS operates 10 barges and more than 80 trucks, and serves companies in the north of the Netherlands, with a strong focus on the export of agri-products.

Infracapital said inland shipping was an environmentally-friendly alternative to road haulage, with each barge able to transport the equivalent load of 100 trucks with 75% less CO2 emissions.

Infracapital recently invested in Dutch inland container terminal operator BCTN for its Infracapital Partners III fund and intends to create a platform for further consolidation in the Benelux region.

Herman Deetman, managing director at Infracapital, said: “As companies of all shapes and sizes increasingly look to reduce their environmental impact, both MCS and BCTN have the opportunity to shape the future of sustainable shipping in the region.

“These highly complementary businesses are benefitting from the structural shift to barging, which is underpinned by the need to decarbonise and to reduce road congestion around ports, and we look forward to growing this platform in the years ahead.”