Europe's leading container-handling company, Eurogate, expects to handle 6.6 million teu (20 ft equivalent units) this year and 7.2 million teu next year, according to the firm's president Thomas Eckelmann. About two-thirds of the company's business would be from the east, said Mr Eckelmann, who headed a delegation from the recently formed company that visited Hong Kong last week. The aim of the visit was to promote Eurogate's terminals, intermodal and watermodal (feeder) services to Hong Kong shippers and shipping lines. Mr Eckelmann said his aim was to make Eurogate the leader in intermodal and watermodal activities in Europe. In order to achieve this, the company would have to fight the state-owned railway monopolies in Europe, he said. 'We are developing the intermodal business in Germany and we started a revolution in Germany on June 28 by using our own container trains and rail cars from Hamburg to Munich and then to Bremerhaven,' Mr Eckelmann said, adding that the move was aimed at the state monopoly. Mr Eckelmann said Germany had appointed a new head of its railway system who was expected to revolutionise rail carriage of goods. 'Once Germany's railway system is revolutionised, we expect other state railways all over Europe to likewise follow suit,' he said. Eurogate was formed on August 26 after 20 months of intensive negotiations between BLG Bremer Lagerhaus & Co and Eurokai. BLG Container & Co, Bremerhaven and Eurokai's domestic and foreign subsidiaries and holdings merged with retrospective effect from January 1 this year. Eurogate, the new company in which BLG and Eurokai have 50 per cent shares, is Europe's biggest cargo-handling company with 4,000 employees. It has terminals in Bremerhaven and Hamburg in Germany, Gioia Tauro and La Spezia in Italy, and Lisbon in Portugal. In Germany, Eurogate handles 60 per cent of the container volumes while Halla handles the remaining 40 per cent. Eurogate's other areas of business are in intermodal container transportation of about 845,000 teu by rail, road and water. It is also involved in contract logistics. The new group's sales in the service sector will be about one billion deutschemarks (HK$4.09 billion). Mr Eckelmann said Eurogate was way ahead of its competitors. The eight-member delegation visited Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai before coming to Hong Kong. It then flew to Singapore and Malaysia before returning to Germany.