GBRf/MSC/Felixstowe. Image: Port of Felixstowe

GBRf extends MSC port deal, as it unveils management additions

GB Railfreight (GBRf) has secured a three-year contract extension with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) for rail freight container services out of the Port of Felixstowe. It means nearly 100 platforms will be operated daily by GBRf, which has also unveiled two new additions to its management structure.

MSC and GBRf have been working togther since 2002, when GBRf was made the first – and now last remaining – customer of the east coast Port of Felixstowe, which contracts dedicated whole trains, and for whom GBRf runs three services daily.

Increased capacity

In 2015 the two companies operated the longest intermodal train on the network, at 610 metres long. They increased TEU capacity by 52 on a round-trip basis, taking an estimated 26,000 lorry journeys off the roads every year. Under the new contract GBRf will be running 98 rail platforms daily, with a mix of 60’ FEA wagons and 40’ friendly ECOfret triples.

John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf, said: “GB Railfreight welcomes the extension of our contract with MSC, and I am proud we get to continue playing such a significant role in supporting the Port of Felixstowe. The container market is an important source of growth for the industry, and it’s vital that we provide the terminal and network infrastructure that allows us to meet present and future consumer demand.”

Seamless service

Dan Everitt, Managing Director of MSC UK, added: “MSC is delighted to be extending our contract with GB Railfreight as we enter our 15th year of working together. Rail is an integral part of our supply chain enabling us to move our customers’ containers closer to their final destination, while offering a reduction in CO2 emissions. Our decision to extend the contract for an additional three years is testament to our long-standing successful partnership with GB Railfreight that in turn allows us to deliver a reliable, seamless rail service to our customers.”

GBRf has also announced the promotion of Duncan Clark to the post of Strategic Development Director and board member, and he will oversee the creation of implementation of innovative strategies to deliver long-term sustainable results for the rail freight operator.

‘Real difference’

Clark joined GBRf in 2015 as Head of Strategic Development, after a year as Programme Director in the Digital Railway. Previously he was Freight General Manager at Network Rail, and also covered the role of Director for six months.

“In a short period of time Duncan has made a real difference to GBRf and I am delighted to have him join the GB Railfreight board,” said John Smith. “He has been a great asset to the company and I look forward to seeing where he can take us in this next chapter of our business, he certainly brings a fresh and innovative dimension which has already delivered great results. As GB Railfreight’s Director of Strategic Development he will position our business both in the UK and European level to thrive, not only in his role with GB Railfreight but as part of the Hector Rail Group.”

Client base

Smith also welcomed the return to GBRf of Lee Armstrong as Commercial Director, a post for which he was ‘ideally suited’: “It is an exciting time for us and I know he can help us navigate the changes we will see in the industry, while further developing our client base,” he added. “Having such talented and passionate staff as Duncan and Lee is what makes GB Railfreight such a success.”

Armstrong first joined GBRf back in 2013 as Programme Manager ERTMS and has worked on strategic planning and business management. He was since worked at EWS – now DB Cargo – as a driver and manager, and also run his own consultancy.

Author: Simon Weedy

Simon is a journalist for - a dedicated online platform for all the news about the rail freight sector

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