Container port sets rail freight record

THE PORT of Felixstowe has set a new record for rail freight by handling a total of 11,019 containers in a single week.

The total – equivalent to 16,846 TEUs, the industry measure based on standard-sized containers – beat the previous best weekly total of 10,893 units recorded during May this year.

The increased rail volumes follow a number of track and equipment improvements at the port over the past three years. These have included a 39-metre extension of the South Rail Terminal to accommodate 22-wagon trains, a major line refurbishment of the same terminal in 2008/9, and two state-of-the-art Rail-Mounted Gantry Cranes which were introduced last year.

David Gledhill, chief executive of Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, said: “Approximately one in every three of all containers that came through the port last week arrived or departed via rail, which is not only a huge environmental success, but also reflects the continually improving service provided by the port.”

The port currently operates two open-access, common-user rail terminals and in 2012 will construct an all-new third rail terminal.

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Co-financed by the European Union from the Trans-European network budget, the new terminal will be the first facility in the UK designed and built to accommodate longer, 30-wagon, trains, and will double rail capacity at the port.

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