07 November 2017

Intermodal Freight Service will Boost Capacity and Help to Reduce Road Traffic at Southampton  

Rail Group Helping Road Haulage Specialist to Deliver Christmas

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Shipping News Feature UK – After winning a new contract with road haulage specialist Wincanton, GB Railfreight (GBRf) has started operating its first intermodal service from Solent Stevedores terminal at ABP Ports of Southampton to ABP Hams Hall Rail Freight Terminal in the Midlands. The service will cater to the increased freight demand in the run up to Christmas by mainly carrying goods that stock supermarkets and high street shops. Speaking about the contract John Smith, GBRf’s managing director, said:

“GBRf is delighted that we, along with our new client Wincanton, will be able to help Father Christmas bring joy and happiness to the whole country this year. And that we will be able to do so in a way that reduces the impact that moving so many presents around could have on things like air quality, if they went by road. Our priority at this time of year is to ensure that everyone has a very merry Christmas, and we will be working to deliver this to the whole of the UK.”

The latest move marks a significant expansion of GBRf’s activities as it will be the second deep-sea port from which the company operates rail services. Its containers will carry cargo for major high street retailers that will end up distributed across the country for consumers to purchase in time for Christmas. GBRf will operate this service for five years, having been awarded the contract on Friday October 20. John Smith added:

“I am so proud to see GBRf continue to grow and expand into new markets, working with new clients, and showing how rail can help decongest our roads and clean our air. This new contract is a testament to our staff’s work ethic and their dedication to the highest standard of customer service.

“Over the next five years we will work closely with our new partners at Wincanton to ensure we deliver the services they require and provide their business with the certainty they need. We are sure that this is only the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership that will enable both organisations to flourish.”

ABP Southampton has undergone recent upgrades that will support the new contract between GBRf and Wincanton. £2.4 million has been invested in a new 5.8 acre facility operated by Solent Stevedores, which has seen turnaround times halved, vastly improved capacity, and driven container throughput. Alastair Welch, ABP Southampton Director, said:

“The improvements to the rail freight facilities enable Solent Stevedores to increase the number of containers they can handle and an increase to the number of trains coming to the port. This is an excellent example of partnership working.”

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