Monday, May 11, 2015

Intermodal Freight Trade Battle Sees New Cranes for Busiest Container Port

Rail Borne Cargo Increasingly Important
Shipping News Feature

UK – With the growing influence of DP World’s Thames side container port London Gateway, the Port of Felixstowe took another step last week to retaining its title as the busiest box port in the UK and the sixth busiest in Europe. Felixstowe, owned by Hutchison Port Holdings, has commissioned two new Rail Mounted Gantry cranes (RMGs) at the port's North Rail Terminal. In the battle for intermodal trade, rail borne freight is playing an increasingly important role in Britain’s distribution needs.

The country’s leading rail cargo carriers, Freightliner, GB Railfreight and DB Schenker all operate services from the Suffolk port to seventeen key cities and rail freight distribution facilities as widely spread as Coatbridge to Bristol, Liverpool to Tilbury. The new cranes are manufactured by Liebherr and have been co-financed by the European Union Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme. In total, Felixstowe has nine rail cranes and 16 tracks at its three terminals making it currently the largest intermodal rail facility in the UK. Commenting on the latest developments, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe, said:

"The Port of Felixstowe already has greater rail capability than any other port in the UK. In 2014, we handled 890,000 TEU at our three rail terminals on the 60 arrivals or departures we have every day. Volumes by rail are continuing to grow and are now over 20% higher than before we opened the North Rail Terminal in 2013.

"The frequency of services we can offer makes rail a much more reliable and viable alternative to seventeen destinations in the UK helping to reduce road congestion and allowing customers to strip carbon out of their supply chains. The new cranes will help us to move even greater volumes by rail in future."