Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Port Looks to Upscale Intermodal Freight Traffic with New Rail Services

Addition of New Bulk Cargo Terminal as Deep Water Facility Develops
Shipping News Feature
UK – The Port of Tilbury unveiled its plans to reinvigorate its intermodal cargo offering at the latest Rail Freight Group conference hosted at Orsett Hall, Thurrock, last week. With three rail terminals in the port and the Essex Thameside rail corridor already accounting for approximately 10% of the UK's rail freight traffic, the port showcased the three pillars to its strategy to revitalise its rail freight options to an industry audience of 80 delegates.

In a presentation on behalf of the Forth Ports Group by Ross McKissock, Asset Manager, for the Tilbury based London Container Terminal, he projected a major uplift in their freight traffic in bulk and intermodal movements. With commercial partners, the port is seeking to:

  • introduce regular intermodal services to the Midlands and Scotland
  • create a dedicated bulk terminal, and
  • establish a rail connection into a new 152-acre deep-water port terminal, Tilbury2
Peter Ward, Commercial Director, Port of Tilbury, commented:

"As part of our sustainable and multimodal approach, Tilbury is making the most of its assets and seeking to build afresh to ensure that our customers and tenants think rail, river and road when seeking the most effective delivery solution.

"We are underway with a major overhaul of our rail offering. This year, the port took possession of the Freightliner operated rail terminal and we have reconfigured the site to create a first for Tilbury, a dedicated bulk materials rail terminal. Initially, the port will be establishing regular movements of recycling glass to Cheshire and other UK locations. In time, we hope to grow the port’s rail freight offering across a range of bulk materials, with associated growth in rail movements.”

The port has doubled throughput in volume in the past ten years and is projected to further double the business across the quay whilst tripling direct employment over the next 10-15 years. The Port of Tilbury is in the middle of a huge £1 billion investment programme, since 2012 through to 2019, which includes the creation of the new Tilbury2 project, currently in the statutory consultation process, to be located adjacent to the current port and the London Distribution Park. Lord Berkeley OBE, Chairman of the Rail Freight Group, said:

"Intermodal rail freight continues to be a big success story, and the Port of Tilbury’s developments and future plans are a growing part of that, with the launch of new intermodal services and the lodging of an application for a development consent order with the Planning Inspectorate to permit a new rail connected port terminal, Tilbury2. Our members look forward to supporting the team's efforts in the months and years ahead to continue this success story."

The 70-acre London Distribution Park will be fully operational by the third quarter of 2017, while 152-acre Tilbury2 terminal is projected to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2020.

Photo: The towers of the now defunct Tilbury Power station loom over the Tilbury 2 site. A giant explosion earlier this month saw more of the 1956 built facility demolished.