Haven Gateway: Take a fresh look at your supply chain

Lisa Brazier, haven gateway

Lisa Brazier, haven gateway - Credit: Archant

By Lisa Brazier, project manager, Low Carbon Freight Dividend

Felixstowe’s position as the UK’s premier port was underlined last week with the arrival of the Majestic Maersk. One of Maersk Line’s new Triple E class containerships – the largest in the world – the Majestic Maersk can carry up to 18,000 standard 20-ft containers.

Around the world, ports such as Felixstowe are investing heavily in new berths, deeper water and larger quay cranes to handle these and many other very high capacity containerships entering service or on order.

The rationale behind Maersk’s 400-metre-long Triple E ships is clear – growing trade volumes on the Asia-Europe trade, at least in the longer term, and a design concept to produce 20% less carbon dioxide per container moved, compared with the 15,500 teu Emma Maersk.

But what about the ‘landside’ implications? Those 18,000 containers would fill Times Square in New York City – and while clearly not all of them would be coming off the ship at any one point, such mega ships will be unloading thousands of boxes in one ship call.

Those thousands of boxes then have to make their way from the port to their final destination, with the obvious potential for bottlenecks.

Rail and feeder/coastal shipping must play an increasing role in the mix of onward links between ports and their hinterlands – that was a key conclusion from the EU Port Integration project, of which the Haven Gateway Partnership was a member.

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The alternatives to road transport will be ever more important in moving boxes swiftly to their destination in an efficient, cost-effective and low-carbon way, without adding to road congestion.

The Low Carbon Freight Dividend offers SMEs an opportunity to take a fresh look at their supply chains; the project provides financial and practical support to eligible SMEs looking to make the modal shift and move containers by rail or water where they would otherwise have gone by truck.

Still need convincing? Give us a call, or take a look at our website (www.lcfd.co.uk). Come along to one of our workshops and find out how we can help you make greener, cost-effective transport choices.

How does the project work? Eligible SMEs in the East of England can claim a 30% dividend when they make the modal shift from road to rail or coastal shipping; supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the project is offering SMEs a financial dividend for about 90 containers each, adding up to a maximum claim of £6,750.

The project also provides practical support and advice, including our freight optimisation and low carbon marketing workshops.

n Find out more by visiting www.lcfd.co.uk or by contacting Lisa Brazier: lisa.brazier@haven-gateway.org or 01206 713612.