The Port of Felixstowe has officially opened a new rail terminal which doubles rail capacity at Britain’s biggest container port. The new North Rail Terminal was inaugurated in a ceremony attended by His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG, local dignitaries and a large number of the port’s customers.
Commenting on the new terminal, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owner of the Port of Felixstowe, said:
“Rail is becoming the mode of choice for an increasing number of shipping lines, forwarders and shippers to move their goods to and from ports. It provides cost, environmental and reliability benefits for many customers and the Port of Felixstowe offers more rail services, to more destinations, more often than any other UK port.
“I am also pleased to announce today that the 60th daily rail service at Felixstowe will be operated by Freightliner Limited. The new service will increase further the choice available to Felixstowe customers. The new North Rail Terminal will increase still further our rail capability. By allowing us to run longer trains, as well as more of them, it will allow users of the port to improve the efficiency of their supply chains and at the same time reducing cost for them.”
Dr John Meredith, Group Managing Director of Hutchison Port Holdings, commented:
“The Port of Felixstowe was Hutchison Ports Holdings’ first investment outside Hong Kong and the new North Rail Terminal is evidence of our continuing commitment to Felixstowe and the UK market. This new facility complements the recent investment we have made in Berths 8&9 and ensures that Felixstowe has a range of facilities unequalled anywhere else in the UK.”
Speaking at the ceremony, the Duke of York said:
“Coming here today and seeing how Felixstowe is taking the challenge of delivering goods and services for British exporters and British importers to the next level is really encouraging, and I would wish not just to congratulate you on so far, but also encourage you to continue the good work and investment you have committed to the United Kingdom.”
Stephen Hammond, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport, said:
"Felixstowe has long been at the forefront of efforts to promote the use of rail for container freight and thus to reduce congestion and environmental impact from HGVs.
"The investment in this terminal will also complement Network Rail's own investment in the Strategic Freight Network, which the Department for Transport is supporting."
The £40 million investment in the new rail terminal is part of a scheme to increase capacity at the Port of Felixstowe that includes the new Berths 8&9, opened in November 2011.
The new rail terminal, co-financed by the European Union Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) programme, allows the port to accommodate trains of up to 35-wagons length. 10 kilometres of new track has been laid for the terminal which provides nine additional tracks, making a total of 20 tracks on the port – more than King’s Cross station - and it has the only traverser at a UK intermodal terminal.
The investment by Hutchison Ports will further enhance the Port of Felixstowe’s position as the UK’s major hub port, and the Port of Britain.
Notes to Editors:
Port of Felixstowe (PFL) is the largest container port in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe. PFL is a member of the Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group. Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH), a subsidiary of the multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HWL), is the world’s leading port investor, developer and operator. The HPH network of port operations comprises 320 berths in 52 ports, spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, HPH has expanded internationally into other logistics, transportation-related and hotel businesses. These include cruise ship terminals, airport and hotel operations, distribution centres, rail services, and ship repair facilities. In 2012, the HPH port network handled a combined throughput of 76.8 million TEU worldwide.