Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Rail Freight Company Wins Expanded Contracts and New Sites for Bulk and Network Services

Control Period 6 Means Increased Workload for Local Distribution Centre Manager
Shipping News Feature
UK– GB Railfreight (GBRf) has signed final contracts with Network Rail for the new Control Period 6 (CP6) which the company says will mean a 25% hike in GBRf's market share with what is its single largest customer. CP6 means GBRf will continue to run Whitemoor Local Distribution Centre (LDC), which it claims is one of the best performing LDCs in the country, along with two new sites in Bescot and Eastleigh.

The two new sites will mean an increase in staff and training opportunities for existing personnel whilst GBRf have also been awarded increased bulk and network services, which it says will ensure the future modernisation of the railways. GBRf have won 44% of bulk services, which will see them move ballast around the country. Whilst in another major win, GBRf have been awarded 53% of network services, which position fleet around the country in order to carry out railway modernisation. GBRf will operate 16 trains on a daily basis, representing the largest area of growth within this tender.

GBRf says it will continue to support infrastructure improvements and enhancements across the network with Network Rail possession trains. GBRf have been awarded annual possession hours, along with an enlarged geographical spread. This will open up increased opportunity in areas GBRf has historically had a lesser presence in. One such example is the West of England, where the contract will bring with it yet more opportunities and up-skilling of staff, as well as ensuring strong GBRf coverage across the whole of the UK. Mark Wyborn, General Manager at GB Railfreight, observed:

“This is great news for GBRf, securing a long-term commitment with Network Rail for the next five years is key, as is the growth we have seen by operating more yards (LDC’s) and more haulage trains than we did in the last Control Period. The growth and commitment from Network Rail is testament to our performance and reputation that we have built on over the last 5 years. This is another huge step within the infrastructure portfolio for GBRf as we continue to look for more diverse opportunities.”

Finally, Network Rail has also awarded seasonal services to deal with weather related issues such as the infamous leaf fall contamination in Autumn, and snow and ice treatment in Winter. These services are critical to keeping the country moving and passenger trains operating safely during adverse weather conditions. GBRf claim it has strengthened its market position in this area by high performance in CP5. CP6 runs through to March 2024 and Rob Morton, Director of Supply Chain Operations, Network Rail, commented:

“These contracts demonstrate the commercially creative approach Network Rail’s supply chain now adopts. We have applied a more collaborative and forward-thinking style to our sourcing than previously, which aligns not only our goals, but those of our supply partners. The new contracts provide us with sufficient flexibility to direct our spending to those suppliers who deliver the best service. We have also ensured the deals have appropriate mutual benefit to maximise their longevity and chance of delivering successfully.”