June 18, 2019 @ 13:40 by Steven Hugill
A port operator has launched a rail freight service that will support a retailer’s deliveries while boosting its green credentials.
PD Ports is working alongside GB Railfreight – for major customer Containerships – on a service between Teesport and Doncaster for IKEA Transport & Logistics Services.
The new link comes amid growing demand for Middlesbrough-headquartered PD Ports’ Teesport base, which continues to enjoy year-on-year growth across its container platform.
Bosses say the new twice-daily rail service will remove 120 movements from the road every day – a journey of 90 miles each way per vehicle – therefore reducing CO2 emissions and increasing sustainability.
Containerships’ confidence in PD Ports’ capability to deliver a reliable service to its end customer was cemented during a four-week trial period this spring.
The service carries 56 boxes per day in two trips, with the outward journey from Doncaster taking in Darlington and Teesport, and the return Teesport, Yarm and Doncaster.
Geoff Lippitt, PD Ports’ group business development director, said: “Rail is at the forefront of our agenda at Teesport, providing vital UK connections for our customers and delivering significant environmental and cost-saving benefits.
“We continue to see consistent growth in our container volumes at the port, reflecting not only the trust and confidence customers have in our ability to deliver reliable services but also in our capacity to offer frequency and flexibility, which is vital to their supply chain.”
Jari Lepistö, Containerships’ chief commercial officer, added: “Reliability and sustainability are core values for us and our customers.
“We were looking for reliable partners and needed an effective daily plan to move large amounts of cargo with increased volumes coming from the Baltics in a sustainable way.”
Elisabeth Munck af Rosenschöld, head of sustainability at IKEA Transport & Logistics Services, reiterated the desire to cut emissions while delivering a trusted service.
She said: “To us, delivery accuracy is of key importance.
“At the same time, we have a very ambitious decarbonising agenda and actively seek to reduce our environmental impact wherever possible.
“To shift from trucks to trains is one way of reducing the number of shipments and fuel used per shipment.”
John Smith, managing director of GB Railfreight, added: “At a time when business is under increasing pressure to improve sustainability credentials, rail has the advantage of being significantly more environmentally-friendly than road transport.”