Monday, December 18, 2017

Multimodal Rail Cargo Grows as Port Hits Million Tonne Rail Freight Target

New Record in Single Year Set by Deep Water Facility
Shipping News Feature
UK – Britain's largest container port, the Hutchison Ports owned Port of Felixstowe, has set a new record by handling over a million tonnes of cargo by rail in a single year. With the drive to transfer ever more freight from the road haulage sector using multimodal links wherever possible, this represents a real milestone for the shipping industry. The imported load was sent last week via Freightliner to Birmingham, and commenting on the achievement, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director, Hutchison Ports and CEO of the Port of Felixstowe, said:

“This new milestone for the port reflects the dedication of our workforce and the excellent relationships we have developed with all the rail freight operators at the port. Rail is an increasingly important differentiator for shipping lines as well as importers and exporters and we are able to offer them a greater number of rail services to more destinations, more often, than any other port.

“Rail is also a key factor in reducing the environmental impact of transport and helps reduce road congestion. We are continuing to invest heavily in rail infrastructure at Felixstowe and are currently working with Network Rail on capacity enhancements to the Felixstowe Branch Line.”

Compared to a few years ago the statistics for those who advocate the transfer to the tracks from the roads are encouraging. There are currently a total of 66 freight train movements at the Port of Felixstowe making it the UK’s busiest multimodal rail freight terminal. In addition to Freightliner, services are offered by GB Railfreight and DB Cargo to a range of destinations including Glasgow, Manchester, Trafford Park, Liverpool, Leeds, Teesport, Birmingham, Doncaster, Rotherham, Hams Hall, Daventry, Wakefield, Ditton (Widnes), Birch Coppice and Bristol.

This width of coverage can make a real contribution to lowering toxic emissions and, for a country in which rail is often not the practical proposition it is for other landlocked states, demonstrates how the mode is starting to be used to a greater capacity. Adam Cunliffe, UK Managing Director of Freightliner Group, observed:

“We would like to congratulate the Port of Felixstowe on this achievement. As a reliable, efficient and sustainable method of distribution demand for multimodal rail freight continues to grow. The Port of Felixstowe plays a vital role in delivering a broad network of rail services to all major UK conurbations. We look forward to continuing to work with Felixstowe to further grow the movement of containers by rail.”