Monday, July 11, 2016

Intermodal Container Freight Sees Entry of New Daily Rail Service

Deep Sea Port Gets Another Track Borne Option
Shipping News Feature
UK – Even hard bitten devotees of Britain’s largest container port would be hard put to deny that the road links into Suffolk are not all they could be, despite many attempts to improve them over the years. What is clear however is that opportunities for intermodal freight arriving and leaving the port by rail have steadily increased and now, just seven weeks after the introduction of the 32nd daily train, the 33rd daily rail freight service has been introduced at the Port of Felixstowe operated by GB Railfreight.

The new service runs between the Hutchison managed port and Rotherham from the port’s North Rail Terminal which was opened in 2013. Felixstowe’s North Terminal was the first in the UK built specifically to handle trains of up to 730 metres in length and the new GB Railfreight service consists of 33 wagons, taking advantage of the greater efficiencies longer trains allow. Speaking of this latest development Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Managing Director of HPH Europe division, said:

“The introduction of the 33rd daily rail service from the Port of Felixstowe so soon after the 32nd is evidence of the continuing strong demand for rail. An ever increasing number of shippers are looking to benefit by integrating rail into their supply chain strategies. The range and frequency of rail services offered at the port, combined with the minimum deviation for the latest generation of mega-vessels, makes Felixstowe the logical choice for both shipping lines and shippers looking for quick and sustainable transport solutions.”

The new service is a cooperation between GB Railfreight, Newell & Wright Transport and the DB Cargo site at Rotherham with John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight commenting:

“The 33rd daily train represents GB Railfreight’s eighth intermodal flow from the Port of Felixstowe, and our second new service from Felixstowe this past year. With the help of our newly ordered Ecofret triple wagons, ultimately this will make the train 45 wagons in length, it allows us to further increase our capacity at the port and across the network.

“Following the decline of core commodities such as coal and steel, it is important that we continue to look for growth opportunities in alternative markets such as intermodal. The introduction of this new flow highlights the benefits rail freight traffic brings to our intermodal customers, and the intention of the port and GB Railfreight to ensure the long-term competitiveness and viability of the industry.”

Newell & Wright Transport are South Yorkshire's largest privately owned road haulage contractors but the switch to a rail option had become an obvious option for a group established as a general haulier at around the start of the container revolution in 1974. Managing Director Frank Newell explained:

"As a well-established container haulier for over 40 years and working with most major shipping lines we could see there was a gap in the market for a rail terminal in the Yorkshire area. Opening/operating our first rail terminal in Rotherham gives us further opportunities with our customer base.

“We feel that we can now offer a one stop shop from the Port of Felixstowe to final delivery point in the Yorkshire region. This consists of a daily rail service and onward delivery via our own fleet. We can also offer container repairs, loading and unloading of containers into our warehouse and storage of both loaded and empty containers. This is an exciting opportunity for Newell & Wright Transport and we look forward to the future working with the Port of Felixstowe, GBRF and DB Cargo."