PD Ports, operator of the deep water port at Teesport, and rail freight operator EWS have launched high cube capacity container train service between the North East of England and central Scotland.
The daily train service connects Teesport to Mossend and Grangemouth in central Scotland and the service is attractive to customers looking to cut costs. PD Ports and EWS estimate that customers should see their average inland transport costs between Teesport and central Scotland slashed by switching from road to rail.
In addition, as freight trains emit five times less CO2 per tonne km moved than road haulage, carbon emissions as well as costs fall for those switching from road to rail. The train is also able to convey high cube capacity containers up to 45ft in length.
Martyn Pellew, group development director for PD Ports, said: “British industry has been demanding a rail route to Scotland from Teesport that can accommodate high cube containers. We are delighted that with EWS we have now delivered the first breakthrough service. With such a significant potential for cost saving for customers switching from road to rail, there never has been a better time to use Britain’s third largest port by volume of tonnage.
“This new service from Teesport to Scotland is good news but is very much an intermediate situation. Our ability to offer this new service is only the first phase of what we hope to achieve. At this stage the railway will be able to handle high cube containers but there are severe limitations on speed for the service through several existing bottlenecks.
“We still need the overall and full rail gauge enhancement for both the Teesport spur to the East Coast Main Line (ECML) and also for the ECML in either direction north through Newcastle and into Scotland as well as south to Yorkshire and the Midlands. If we are to achieve the full potential of the Northern Gateway Container Terminal and for much greater use of rail rather than road transport for onward inland movements then we must see full rail gauge enhancement being authorise as soon as possible,” said Pellew.