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Maritime Transport launches intermodal link between West Midlands and London Gateway

Posted 28 Jun 2021

Maritime Transport Ltd. is pleased to announce a new rail freight service operated by long-standing partner, GB Railfreight (GBRf), connecting DP World London Gateway to Maritime’s intermodal freight terminal in Tamworth (BIFT).

The new flow, which aims to deliver freight users a secure, direct link to vital consumer and manufacturing regions in the West Midlands and south of England, commenced today (28th June 2021), and runs six days a week from Monday to Saturday with a total transport capacity of 87 TEU in each direction.

GBRf now operates eight intermodal services into Maritime’s rail terminals in Manchester, Wakefield, East Midlands Gateway, and BIFT, demonstrating both companies’ commitment to growth in the UK rail freight sector.  

Additionally, the commencement of a new daily connection will result in a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions, saving over 4,000,000 road miles per year in an increasingly-congested road network.

The acquisition of Roadways Container Logistics in 2014 saw Maritime acquire BIFT as part of the deal. Container throughput at the terminal has increased significantly over the years due to additional services, continued investment in state-of-the-art container handling equipment, and vastly-improved turnaround times. In 2011, BIFT saw an average weekly volume of 1,000 containers, rising to 2,500 in 2020, and now boasts an average vehicle turnaround time of just 26 minutes. Businesses across the country directly benefit from five daily intermodal services at BIFT, connecting London Gateway, Southampton and Felixstowe to the Midlands, with a dedicated operational team of thirty on-site 24/7 to ensure the smooth running of each service. Latest investments at the facility include major civil works, crane refurbishments, and two new ESC450 straddle carriers supplied by Kalmar Ltd.  

John Bailey, Managing Director – Intermodal and Terminals, Maritime Transport:

‘This new service is an important milestone in the expansion of our intermodal offering, and reflects our passion and commitment to opening up new routes to our intermodal customers with fast, reliable, and cost-effective end-to-end solutions. As we see high demand for regular intermodal services from BIFT to the major ports in the south, we look forward to working alongside GBRf and DP World London Gateway together with a service that offers enormous potential.’  

John Smith, Managing Director, GB Railfreight:

‘Today’s announcement builds on our long-standing partnership with Maritime that spans several years. Together with the seven intermodal services we already operate for Maritime Transport, the extra capacity created by the BIFT to London Gateway flow reinforces the vital role rail freight is playing in delivering goods sustainably around the country.’

John Trenchard, UK Commercial and Supply Chain Director, DP World London Gateway:

‘Maritime’s third service into DP World’s smart logistics hub at London Gateway will enable more customers to benefit from fast, reliable, and flexible links to international supply chains and markets. We are uniquely-placed to provide the right trading infrastructure and smart logistical solutions for our customers, and are delighted to see Maritime expanding its intermodal service provision from its industry-leading terminal in Tamworth, which complements our own
state-of-the-art terminal operations.’