A government-backed rail service linking North East and North West England will be among the latest intermodal initiatives featured by pan-European logistics solutions specialist P&O Ferrymasters at the Multimodal 2012 trade show, which takes place at the UK's National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham from 1-3 May.
The eco-friendly link between key locations Teesport and Widnes was launched by P&O Ferrymasters last October. Using train operator Direct Rail Services (DRS), the company currently offers three round trips per week but aims to run a daily schedule from the second quarter of this year. Transit time is seven hours via Crewe.
The service runs in conjunction with P&O Ferries sailings from Rotterdam and Zeebrugge to Teesport, which provide cost-effective short-sea connections between mainland Europe and the UK north-east. Onward rail transport adds a unique intermodal option for traffic to and from the north-west, where Widnes combines strategic location with an ultra-modern container terminal. DRS has made a substantial investment in specially designed low liner wagons to enable the carriage of 9'6 pallet wide containers over this section of the UK rail network.
P&O Ferrymasters intermodal director Wim Blomme notes: "We expect to transfer a large proportion of our road movements on this trade lane, which will produce a significant cut in CO2 emissions. Intermodal shift is part of our ongoing drive to reduce carbon footprint by providing customers with environmentally sustainable solutions."
The rail initiative is supported by the UK Department for Transport through its Mode Shift Revenue Support (MSRS) scheme. Full details of all P&O Ferrymasters services and solutions will be available from the UK sales team in the Carrier Pavilion, stand number T11 at Multimodal 2012. Now in its fifth year, the event is the leading onestop shop for UK and Ireland-based shippers and showcases logistics providers from throughout Europe.
P&O Ferrymasters, which exhibited at the inaugural show in 2008, offers tailor-made transportation, logistics and supply chain solutions. The company is part of P&O Ferries - which is owned by Dubai World - and employs 530 people at 26 strategic locations across 13 European countries.