First steel train in new facility London Thamesport, operated by DB Cargo UK for Tata Steel. Photo credit: DB Cargo UK

First steel train at London Thamesport

Last Friday, the first steel train arrived at the new facility of  London Thamesport. The train was operated by DB Cargo UK, carrying a shipment for Tata Steel. “Proud to have taken the first ever steel train into a new facility at London Thamesport today for Tata Steel”, the operator tweeted from its official account. The deepwater facility not only has a good rail network to London, the South East, the Midlands and North West, but also has the potential to form a new supply chain corridor to service the European and Far Eastern steel logistics markets.

In December last year the port on the east coast signed an agreement with shipping agent and logistics company The Armitt for the construction of a purpose-built, 120,000 square feet (11,148 square meters) steel handling facility at the Kent port. The first phase of the project included the completion of a 60,000 square feet (5574 square meters) facility. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.

New supply chain corridor

The deepwater facility of Thamesport not only has a good rail network to London, the South East, the Midlands and North West, but also has the potential to form a new supply chain corridor to service the European and Far Eastern steel logistics markets. “As it is on the east coast, any cargo coming up through the Suez Canal will come past my front door. Virtually every ship that comes to the UK is going onwards to the Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam range in ballast”, Nicholas Marshall, Armitt’s commercial director, said in Breakbulk.

Specialised in the handling of breakbulk cargo, he added that pure container facilities are unable to offer the same services to the industry as a dedicated multipurpose terminal, due to the required speed, efficiency, logistics, experience and specialty. With the redevelopment of London Thamesport into a deepwater breakbulk facility, it is now the closest in the UK-to-northern European market. Armitt plans to develop similar multimodal facilities in the Midlands and North of the UK within the next two years.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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