Image: GBRf

GBRf delivers Christmas cheer with new deep-sea port deal

Christmas cheer will be in abundance earlier than usual at GB Railfreight after the UK operator landed a major new deep-sea port deal. Its first intermodal service from Solent Stevedores terminal at the Port of Southampton will see GBRf helping to stock the shelves of the country’s major stores with seasonal products.

Under the five year contract, the service from Southampton to Associated British Ports’ Hams Hall Freight Terminal in the West Midlands marks a significant expansion of GBRf’s activities, as it will be the second deep-sea port from the company runs rail services. Hauled by the class 66 engine 66703 Doncaster PSB, the 34-car early-morning service will operate Tuesday to Saturday, and carry containers full of goods destined for high street retailers.

Reduces the impact

John Smith, Managing Director of GBRf, said: “GBRf is delighted that we, along with our new client Wincanton, will be able to help Father Christmas bring joy and happiness to the whole country this year, and that we will be able to do so in a way that reduces the impact that moving so many presents around could have on things like air quality, if they went by road. Our priority at this time of year is to ensure that everyone has a very merry Christmas, and we will be working to deliver this to the whole of the UK.

“I am so proud to see GBRf continue to grow and expand into new markets, working with new clients, and showing how rail can help decongest our roads and clean our air. This new contract is a testament to our staff’s work ethic and their dedication to the highest standard of customer service. Over the next five years we will work closely with our new partners at Wincanton to ensure we deliver the services they require and provide their business with the certainty they need. We are sure that this is only the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership that will enable both organisations to flourish.”

Continued expansion

Fiona Robson, Managing Director of Solent Stevedores, added: “We are pleased to welcome GBRf as a rail user to our terminal and look forward to the continued expansion of more rail freight from ABP Port of Southampton.”

Associated British Ports Southampton has also undergone recent upgrades that will support the new contract between GBRf and Wincanton. Around 2.4 million Pounds has been invested in a new 5.8 acre facility operated by Solent Stevedores, which has seen turnaround times halved, vastly improved capacity, and driven container throughput. Alastair Welch, ABP Southampton Director, said: “The improvements to the rail freight facilities enable Solent Stevedores to increase the number of containers they can handle and an increase to the number of trains coming to the port. This is an excellent example of partnership working.”

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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