iPort Rail under new management and set for expansion in 2024
iPort Rail, the multimodal freight terminal at the iPort logistics development in Doncaster, in the north of England. The terminal is set for a significant expansion in 2024. Verdion, the UK subsidiary of Medlog, a subsidiary of MSC, has agreed to operate the terminal. iPort Rail has proved a huge hit with multimodal freight operators, not least for its location adjacent to the East Coast Main Line.
The long chain of command at iPort in Doncaster has not proved a barrier to the popularity and development of the intermodal rail freight operation. Already well connected with maritime port operations in the UK, the site is set for a significant expansion. The operators have claimed it will double the size of the rail operation. The open-access iPort Rail terminal was opened in 2018 by HRH The Princess Royal. Daily services are now running between there and Southampton, Felixstowe, Immingham and Teesport. It has also secured Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status, recognised globally for secure international transit of goods.
Commence work on Phase 2 of iPort Rail
Verdion may not be a name well-known outside of the logistics industry. However, for the hundreds of road hauliers and the consolidated rail freight sector, who all use the facility, it is the new name behind operations at iPort Rail in Doncaster. Their stated intention to expand the facility is something that has the name on the lips of the whole community. The global transport and logistics provider is taking a long-term lease of the facility. Handover is expected to be completed during this financial quarter (Q1 2024). Lifting and storage of containers at the iPort Rail terminal will be performed under Medlog. The current 27-strong team at iPort Rail will remain in place. The operators stress there will be a focus on business as usual for existing customers.
As part of the transaction, Verdion will now commence work on Phase 2 of iPort Rail. That will double the current size and storage capacity of the terminal. It will also increase the number of trains it can accommodate daily, as well as continuing the low carbon movement of goods to existing iPort occupiers. Planning consent has been secured and work is expected to start in Q1 2024. The expanded terminal is expected to come into operation in Q1 2025. The terminal at iPort is one of the UK’s most significant multimodal logistics hubs, and the largest in the north of England. The 800-acre facility is located only a few minutes from several major highways. Rail connections are via the East Coast Main Line, giving access to the UK’s major seaports.
Business as usual at iPort, says new management
“The economic and environmental benefits of rail freight are clear”, said John Clements, the executive director of Verdion. “We have significant untapped potential at iPort to increase provision and support national and international supply chains. This agreement with Medlog will underpin current operations and create a strong platform for future growth. More business and employment opportunities are expected across the Doncaster and South Yorkshire region.”
Dan Everitt, the managing director of Medlog UK, was keen to emphasise it is very much business as usual at iPort. “iPort Rail is strategically located and it will continue to be an open access terminal”, he said. “Operations [will] continue seamlessly and without interruption to its customers. The investment in the iPort Rail terminal is part of the group’s continued investment in intermodal infrastructure in the United Kingdom.”
When complete iPort will extend to 6 million square feet (nearly 560,000 square metres) of logistics and light industrial accommodation, operating around the clock. Alongside iPort Rail, Amazon, CEVA, Fellowes, Lidl, Woodland Group, Maritime Group and Euro Pool Systems already have operations there. Expect the familiar colours of the UK rail freight sector to be even more evident in future.