East Midlands Gateway one year onwards
Freeport status for neighbouring East Midlands Airport cannot do any harm to the Strategic Rail Freight Interchange at East Midlands Gateway (EMG). Maritime Transport Limited, better known simply as Maritime, is celebrating the first anniversary of operating the terminal. The UK’s self-proclaimed fastest-growing intermodal transport operator is best known for its road fleet, but is also committed to rail freight growth.
East Midlands Gateway, between Derby and Nottingham in England, has proven to be a commercial success since its opening in March 2020. Located within a 700-acre (280 hectare) development adjacent to East Midlands Airport, the 17-acre (7-hectare) open-access terminal is capable of handling up to sixteen 775 metre-long freight trains daily. With the current imbalance in container supply, the storage capacity for over 4,000TEU is proving extremely useful.
New handling equipment
Following its official opening a year ago, East Midlands Gateway has seen substantial growth. To date, the terminal operates six daily services including three to the Port of Felixstowe hauled by DB Cargo UK and Freightliner, one to DP World London Gateway operated by DB Cargo UK, and two services to the ports of Southampton and Liverpool hauled by GB Railfreight. The terminal was officially opened by the Rail Minister, Chris Heaton-Harris MP, who represents the Daventry constituency, within which the terminal resides.
Planning is underway to bring more services to EMG throughout 2021 connecting more of the UK.
To service these trains, Maritime has invested in new container handling equipment at the terminal. The equipment consists of five loaded reach stackers and two empty container handlers. The operator says this will allow them to ensure industry-leading turnaround times.
10,000 containers per month
The disruption to the international supply chain has impacted EMG. The forced closure of much of the physical retail activity In the UK, and a huge rise in online retail demand has contributed to a significant change in pattern of work at the terminal. With lockdowns and restrictions closing many non-essential shops, Maritime say they now see an average 10,000 containers move through EMG each month. The recent relaxing of restrictions on retail activity will see more goods heading for physical stores, but there is no anticipation of immediate changes to rail freight operations. The proximity to the M1 motorway contributes to popularity with road hauliers.
“East Midlands Gateway is an astounding success”, said John Bailey, managing director – intermodal and terminals at Maritime. “We are immensely proud of the milestones we have achieved in our first year of operating the terminal which really highlights the commitment and dedication of our staff. It’s location, and unrivalled connectivity and facilities make it an ideal choice for businesses in the region and beyond, and we are confident that, with the increasing need for intermodal transport in the UK due to its cost-efficiency and green credentials, EMG will continue to grow.”
Headquarters begins this year
Maritime is currently building a new headquarters for the business at EMG. “We will continue pursuing our expansion ambitions to further solidify EMG’s status as the country’s most integral rail terminal, and look forward to supporting businesses across the nation”, added Bailey. EMG will eventually host a three-storey, 20,000 square feet (1860 square metres) headquarters currently under construction for Maritime’s intermodal division, to house operational teams, training facilities, and truck parking for a fleet of up to 100 vehicles.
Freeport status was awarded to the adjacent East Midlands Airport in March by the UK chancellor Richi Sunak. The freeport initiative is designed to stimulate economic recovery around the country. Meanwhile, Maritime has extended its rail offering for its growing customer base since its move into the intermodal market back in April 2019, and now operates or has contractual commitment on the thirteen discrete flows, operating eleven trains daily.