Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rail Freight Shipping Terminal Celebrates Sales Victory with New Container Crane Launch

Freightliner Scores in League Table Whilst Investing in New Equipment
Shipping News Feature

UK –Rail freight operator Freightliner Ltd has recently unveiled two new rail head gantry cranes at the company's Southampton Maritime Terminal, the culmination of a £9 million investment by the group. A ceremony celebrated the launch of the new cranes and 40 years of operations at the rail freight terminal where guests from the field of container shipping and beyond witnessed both cranes being named and the Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Derek Burke, launching the first official box lifted.

The new Liebherr supplied cranes were installed over the August bank holiday in a record three days following their manufacture in Ireland. The £9 million investment in the new cranes, together with the associated groundwork, represents the largest single-item capital investment by Freightliner in terminal or ports infrastructure since the privatisation of the business in 1996. Freightliner says the investment maintains the group as the only rail freight operator which has made meaningful capital expenditures in its inland infrastructure in recent times.

The company says this investment represents an example of Freightliner's commitment to the intermodal container market and a willingness to invest for the long-term, even in such challenging economic times. The crane investment complements other broader schemes and developments which have transformed the rail service offering form the Port of Southampton, including gauge clearance for the larger 9'6" containers from Southampton to the Midlands, North West and Scotland which has seen the hi-cube movements increase by 76% from Southampton Maritime since commencement. Adam Cunliffe, Managing Director, Freightliner Ltd said:

“Today, the launch of these magnificent new cranes in Southampton is the culmination and the celebration of a great deal of effort, pride, passion and investment. The new cranes prove our capability to provide the infrastructural backbone our customers require to have certainty of sustainability for the future.

“As the new berth 201 and 202 are completed Freightliner can provide up to 13 roads under the cranes to continue providing any required services as volumes increase. The new cranes will eventually increase lift capacity by up to 80%, although the overall capacity will be increased in stages. The initial increase will meet the demand which was driven by gauge clearance."

The group has also announced that it has been ranked 78th in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 league table which ranks Britain's leading mid-market private companies with the biggest sales. This marks the seventh year in succession that the Freightliner Group has been ranked in the table and is the only rail freight operator to be represented. Peter Maybury, CEO, Freightliner Group Limited said:

"We are delighted with our ranking in this years’, The Sunday Times Top Track 250. Improving market share in the UK and substantial growth in Poland and Australia have helped Freightliner Group to climb 15 places to this year's position"

Photo: Adam Cunliffe, Managing Director, Freightliner Ltd and Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Derek Burke officially launched the new cranes.