ABP hands Hams Hall operations to Maritime Transport

The deal signed last week between Associated British Ports and Maritime Transport has seen management at Hams Hall international intermodal terminal change hands for only the third time in its 25-year history. Maritime has moved up from the status of major customer to managerial operator in a development that suits both parties. The change of management takes effect on 3 July.

Hams Hall, near Birmingham, is no stranger to its new managers, Maritime Transport. The logistics company has been an anchor customer at the international intermodal terminal for most of its life. It came as no surprise to industry insiders when the company announced it would be assuming a managerial role, in line with their ambitious expansion plans and stated policy of increasing their rail freight operations. Hams Hall is ideally sited to promote their ‘trunk rail, last mile road’ intentions.

heart of the UK logistics network

Associated British Ports (ABP), which describes itself as the UK’s leading ports group, has awarded a long-term lease to Maritime Transport to operate Hams Hall. Not surprisingly, as Hams Hall is about as far as possible from the coast, ABP have found a partner whose logistics speciality is most certainly directed towards dry land.

Hams Hall Birmingham

As one of the UK’s busiest rail freight terminals, Hams Hall plays a central role in the nation’s logistics network. It’s a golden triangle location, at the heart of the UK market and distribution network. “Its expert team and strategic location have made it an important part of ABP’s portfolio for almost 25 years”, said the port company in their statement.

Well placed to develop

Maritime Transport, a long-standing ABP customer at the terminal, has been pursuing a wider strategy, aimed at transporting more cargo by rail. Over the last three years, they have established and grown their successful Intermodal sector. The purpose-built site at Hams Hall offers the opportunity for Maritime to expand further implement that policy and grow their business. The terminal has been steadily attracting new traffic, such as the Liverpool round trip recently introduced.

Alastair Welsh of Associated British Ports

“We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Maritime Transport”, said ABP’s Alastair Welch, their regional director. “As a customer of ours at Hams Hall, we know they are well placed to develop Hams Hall further, incorporating it into their offer for sustainable supply chain solutions to their customers. We look forward to working with them on a smooth transition and wish them and the team at Hams Hall all the very best.”

A critical location in Maritime plans

The Hams Hall Channel Tunnel Freight Terminal, as it was originally known, was opened amid much fanfare in July 1997 by the then deputy prime minister John Prescott. Associated British Ports took over operations in 2002. The extensive rail freight terminal sits to the south of the Hams Hall business park. It has international cargo clearance and storage for 6,000 TEU.

“We have long viewed the Rail Freight Terminal at Hams Hall as a critical location in our plans to move more cargo by rail”, said John Williams, the executive chairman of Maritime Transport. “We have long viewed the Rail Freight Terminal at Hams Hall as a critical location in our plans to move more cargo by rail and we are delighted to have been able to work closely with ABP to agree a long-term solution for Maritime to operate the rail terminal. We are fully focussed on offering the best, secure and sustainable solutions to our customers reducing the environment impact of their supply chains.”

Hams Hall, near Birmingham was built on the site of the city corporation’s power stations – a site chosen for its excellent rail connections. The power stations may be gone, but the site still generates plenty trade for the region.

Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

1 comment op “ABP hands Hams Hall operations to Maritime Transport”

bönström bönström|16.06.22|11:20

A win win it seems.
For sake of railways, what all is about…, both parties, now together, may attend bottlenecks, unnecessarily, plaguing Industry..
A New Old Railway decisively has to be constructed for! For sake of quality, of sustainably reduced track charges, etc., capacity and utilisation of investments made, shall no longer be hampered, due to simple technicalities. Safely allowed 70.000 pound axial load is a min.. Electrification, yes, but a timely, etc., etc.

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