Friday, October 14, 2011

Rail Freight Group Offer High Cube Intermodal Shipping Container Service

DRS Opens Up the Parts of the UK Other Companies Cannot Reach
Shipping News Feature

UK - Direct Rail Services (DRS) tells us it has launched a ‘revolutionary’ new service from PD Ports’ Teesport container terminal utilising a unique freight wagon that can transport high-cube boxes to areas of the UK previously inaccessible by rail. The service began on Monday last and will offer five days a week carriage from the Teesport rail head container hub and the Stobart Group’s Widnes Intermodal Rail Depot.

The new service utilises the WH Davis built ‘Superlow 45’ featured at Multimodal 2011 and runner up in the Rail Freight Group’s recent ‘Project of the Year’ which are capable of carrying high cube containers over non-gauge enhanced and height restricted routes, meaning almost the entire UK rail network is now accessible to the larger boxes. The newer containers measure one foot more in height than the standard 8’6” ISO boxes and previously could only be transported by road to many UK destinations.

The inception of the service was due to demand from logistics group P&O Ferrymasters, but with the competition for container traffic between the ports hotting up (Felixstowe’s recent deepwater berth extension and DP World’s vow to inaugurate services from the London gateway within two years) the new wagons will be made available to any takers.

This is the first time the new wagons have been used and with up to thirty two containers a day able to use the service all parties were suitably enthusiastic about the resultant economies, both financial and environmental. P&O Ferrymasters’ Director Asset Divisions Wim Blomme said:

“Our main drive for this modal shift has been the continuous search to reduce our carbon footprint in the UK, and to provide our customers with sustainable environmentally friendly solutions. This project was initiated over two years ago and required a substantial investment from DRS in order to provide a technical solution for the carriage of our 9’6” palletwide containers on the Victorian rail network. We are glad DRS have made the decision by purchasing the special designed low-liner wagons, which enable us to transfer many thousand road movements from Teesport into Widnes.”

Sarka Oldham, DRS Head of Business Development added:

“This new service demonstrates DRS’s ability to deliver innovative rail solutions to meet our customers’ needs as well as offering both economical and environmental benefits. The utilisation of the Super Low 45 wagons is the first of its kind and we are delighted to be working with Teesport and P&O Ferrymasters to spearhead this cross country rail service.”

Regions now open to high-cube containers by rail from Teesport thanks to the wagon include north Wales, south Wales, south-west England, northern Scotland and the west Highlands.

The service is the second new rail operation launched from Teesport’s rail terminal in recent months, after logistics company WH Malcolm and DRS started a new link between Teesport and Scotland.

Photo: One of the new wagons on show at Multimodal 2011.