A new intermodal rail freight service connecting the Port of Felixstowe with the Birch Coppice terminal in the Midlands has been launched by GB Railfreight.
The first locomotive on the service left Birch Coppice at 14:14 on 23 January 2019 and arrived at Felixstowe at 20:14, having passed through Hams Hall, Leicester, Peterborough and Ipswich along the way. Made up of 33 platforms, the service transports a mixture of intermodal containers, and will initially run 5 days a week.
Commenting on the new service, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe and Executive Director of Hutchison Ports, said:
"We are delighted to welcome this latest service offering from GB Railfreight. The Port of Felixstowe already offers a wide array of rail services through our three intermodal terminals and this latest service supports the range of sustainable transport options available to port users."
John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight added:
"We're thrilled to be putting on this new service, which will be running on a daily basis. It is demonstrative of the wider sea change we are seeing in the rail freight industry, as the UK moves from its industrial roots to become a service and consumer- led economy. This is reflected in the fact that intermodal traffic now accounts for approximately 36% of rail freight industry wide.
The route is also practical, with this new Midlands service meaning Birch Coppice can accommodate business that was going to Hams Hall, allowing our client Wincanton additional space for its logistics operation that is centred around the facility."
Regular rail services are also run from Felixstowe to Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Teesport, Birmingham, Doncaster, Selby, Hams Hall, Wakefield, Ditton (Widnes), Rotherham and Cardiff.
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Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe is strategically located on the UK's South East coast and within easy reach of major ports in North West continental Europe. As the UK's first purpose-built container-handling facility, it is also the largest and busiest container port in the country. With three rail terminals, it also has the busiest and biggest intermodal rail freight facility in the UK. The latest phase of development, Berths 8&9, provides additional deep-water capacity for the world's largest container ships.
Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). Hutchison Ports is the world's leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 51 ports spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transportation-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.