Network Rail has signed a four-year deal worth more than £40 million with DHL Supply Chain to provide a road transport planning centre.
The facility will manage the day-to-day road haulage requirements for materials and supplies that cannot be moved by rail.
Network Rail moves 3.68 million tonnes of materials and supplies each year, seven per cent of which is moved by road.
The contract builds on an existing relationship and is designed to help Network Rail save £1.8 million in the first year alone through more efficient use of road transport.
Under the agreement, DHL will manage the movement of heavy infrastructure materials and non-heavy materials including demand for maintenance spares and inbound freight from suppliers.
In addition, it will handle demand for road freight from major programmes and ad-hoc haulage services required by infrastructure maintenance and infrastructure investment teams.
Martin Elwood, Network Rail’s national delivery service director, said: “Network Rail’s first preference is always to move our material by rail but this is not always a practical or a possible option. This contract will help us generate efficiencies in the way we manage our road haulage activities, helping us to reduce costs and hit our sustainability targets.”
The centre will be based at Network Rail’s offices in Milton Keynes.