Maritime locomotive and Mercedes truck stand side by side

UK Maritime acquires Wincanton containers

The familiar blue livery of Maritime Group, the rail and road logistics operator, will take over from the also familiar blue livery of Wincanton. The former has acquired the container logistics operations of the latter. This deal was announced to the London Stock Exchange today, Monday 5 October. Maritime, one of the largest independent transport and logistics companies in the UK, already operates nine daily intermodal trains from UK container ports to five strategic rail terminals for onward distribution.

In a statement to investors, the West of England head quartered Wincanton logistics company said it had signed a conditional agreement to dispose of its container business to specialists in the sector, Maritime. The amicable deal is worth around 1.5 million British pounds (1.65 million euro) in favour of Wincanton. The deal allows Wincanton to concentrate on its core retail distribution businesses, while Maritime adds a customer base to its expanding intermodal operations.

Customer base expanded

Under the deal, all employees and assets will be transferred to Maritime in what should be a seamless operation for customers. Maritime say they continue to work with Wincanton as a strategic partner supporting a number of Wincanton’s customers’ international supply chains. The combined business will create a road fleet of 2,000 with 3,000 employees, based throughout the UK.

Maritime operate a fleet of diesel locomotives, in partnership with DB Cargo UK (Maritime)

“We are delighted to have agreed terms with Wincanton to acquire its container transport business, Wincanton Container Logistics”, said John Williams, the chair of the Maritime Group. “We welcome the staff and drivers and look forward to building our capability in the container transport sector and relationships with its customers.”

Rail operations

Maritime has become a familiar sight on the UK rail network. In partnership with DB Cargo UK, run a fleet of six Class 66 diesel locomotives, all over the UK. They operate out of five terminals – four inland at Wakefield, Trafford Park Manchester, Tamworth (Birmingham Intermodal Freight Terminal), and East Midlands Gateway. They also move containers from the port of Tilbury, on the Thames, near London.

Wincanton has been experimenting with electric trucks to supplement its long haul heavy goods vehicles, suggesting there is room to do business with Maritime in a carbon-free environment (Wincanton)

Wincanton has a long list of blue-chip retail distribution clients and has recently been experimenting with electric delivery trucks, suggesting there could be business to be done between the two companies. The move for Wincanton’s container business also suggests the opportunity for Maritime to further increase their roster of rail services. Initially, say Maritime, they will take on Wincanton’s intermodal commitments from Felixstowe and Southampton into Hams Hall, Birmingham, increasing their Intermodal activity to nine daily rail services, just 18 months after committing to rail.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

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