Tuesday 25th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Box watch: the first leg


Freightliner has begun the UK rail leg of a year-long BBC News project called The Box, which commemorates 50 years of the intermodal container box.

The specially branded 40 ft shipping box arrived in Southampton on 8th September and was loaded onto the 7.25am service to Coatbridge.

Upon arrival it was put onto a road vehicle to continue its journey to a UK destination to be filled with whiskey.

Peter Maybury, managing director of Freightliner, said: “We are delighted to have commenced the first rail leg of this exciting project. The Box is an excellent way of highlighting the logistics involved in the transportation of deep-sea containers. Freightliner looks forward to future involvement in this project.”

However, the British International Freight Association, said that while it welcomes the project as it will educate the general public on issues relating to containerisation, it is keen that the BBC demonstrates the “full complexity of the modern supply chain”.

Peter Quantrill, director general of BIFA, said: “We hope that The Box will not just concentrate on the hardware of the supply chain and overlook the role of the freight forwarder. After all, BIFA members are responsible for filling many of the containers that the shipping lines move around the globe.
“Broadcasting producers like to focus on the physical elements of any story. I can see why modern container shipping, with its massive ships, double-stack trains, 24-hour operations and sky scraping gantry cranes will appeal to broadcasters and viewers. But they should not ignore the less photogenic services that BIFA members provide behind the scenes to companies involved in international trade.”

Over the course of a year the box is expected to reach as far afield as China and can be followed using GPS tracking at www.bbc.co.uk/thebox.