Trickle flow of a more or less fluidized catalyst through a packed column is a promising new gas—solid counter-current operation. The hydrodynamic, behaviour of such a column, filled with dumped PALL rings, has been investigated, while some results have been obtained with RASCHIG rings and cylindrical screens as packing. The solid used was a microspherical catalyst carrier. Pressure drop, hold-up, loading and flooding were evaluated and compared with literature data for gas—liquid systems. The behaviour is analogous although the absolute magnitude is different. Pressure drop is low, up to 50% of the solid being carried by the packing. A correlation for the pressure drop, which is mainly caused by suspended particles, has been derived. At low gas velocities particle velocity is constant, whilst near flooding the slip velocity between gas and solid reaches a constant value. Using empirical values for particle velocity and slip velocity, hold-up, loading and flooding can be predicted. Scaling-up problems still need to be investigated. Results on mass transfer, axial dispersion of both phases and solid spread factors will be published later.