(PRWEB UK) 17 October 2012
Customers, industry partners and the Mayor and Mayoress of Southampton attended the ceremony, which celebrated the launch of the new cranes and 40 years of operations at the Southampton Maritime rail freight terminal. Guests witnessed both cranes being named and the Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Derek Burke, launching the first official box lifted which boasted a livery to celebrate both the inauguration of the new cranes and the 40th anniversary.
The cranes were named Freightliner Fortis 15-10-2012 and Freightliner Agilitas 15-10-2012. The name Fortis represents strength and power that the new cranes will bring to operations. The name Agilitias represents the ease of movement and efficiency of the new cranes. The dates will be a reminder of the great year in British history in which the cranes were erected.
The £9m investment in the new cranes, together with the associated groundwork, represents the largest single-item capital investment by Freightliner in terminal or ports infrastructure since the privatisation of the business in 1996. The investment maintains Freightliner as the only rail freight operator who has made meaningful capital expenditures in its inland infrastructure, to expand and retain the level of provision and commitment that the Freightliner service provides and that customers rightly demand.
Southampton Maritime terminal has been in operation since 1972 and has stood the test of time to remain a vibrant and successful maritime rail terminal. Since privatisation in 1996, Freightliner has seen Southampton handlings increase by 28 per cent and this year is expected to move in excess of 220,000 containers.
The new cranes which are the largest and most efficient rail terminal cranes in the UK were erected over the August bank holiday in a record three days. This investment represents another clear example of Freightliner’s commitment to the intermodal container market and a willingness to invest for the long-term, even in such challenging economic times. The crane investment complements other broader schemes and developments which have transformed the rail service offering form the Port of Southampton, including gauge clearance for the larger 9’6” containers from Southampton to the Midlands, North West and Scotland which has seen the hi-cube movements increase by 76 per cent from Southampton Maritime since commencement.
New rail mounted gantry cranes at Trafford Park and Birmingham, and the operating and environmental benefits provided by our new PowerHaul locomotives have all helped Freightliner to increase container volumes, and take freight off the UK’s roads and on to the rail network. This along with new routes, leading Information Technology, and a close working relationship with DPW at Southampton have all contributed to the success of Southampton Maritime over the past 40 years.
Adam Cunliffe, Managing Director, Freightliner Ltd commented, “Today, the launch of these magnificent new cranes in Southampton is the culmination and the celebration of a great deal of effort, pride, passion and investment. The new cranes prove our capability to provide the infrastructural backbone our customers require to have certainty of sustainability for the future.
As the new berth 201 and 202 are completed Freightliner can provide up to 13 roads under the cranes to continue providing any required services as volumes increase. The new cranes will eventually increase lift capacity by up to 80 per cent, although the overall capacity will be increased in stages. The initial increase will meet the demand which was driven by gauge clearance.”
Previously part of British Rail, Freightliner was privatised in 1996 and has since increased turnover by over 180 percent. Initially only providing Intermodal services, the company has since expanded to have five subsidiary companies, all operating under Freightliner Group Limited.
Freightliner Limited is the UK’s largest hauler of maritime containers, accounting for 20 percent of the total market share, and 80 percent of the rail-fed market.
Freightliner is officially the UK’s most reliable rail freight operator with an industry-leading reliability of 98% on-time delivery. Operating over 102 daily services over 37 direct route offerings to and from the UK’s deep sea ports to 14 destinations, 9 of which are terminals owned and operated by Freightliner. Freightliner uniquely provides a complete logistics package through the use of its in house road fleet of 300 vehicles with local road services, to move customers’ containers on the first or last leg of a worldwide journey.
In 1999, Freightliner identified a significant opportunity to expand, and established Freightliner Heavy Haul Limited (FHH) to service the bulk rail freight industry. FHH now operates nationwide in the coal, aggregates, cement, specialist minerals, steel, and waste sectors, and has grown to a turnover of over £100m.
Since then, Freightliner Group has established new subsidiaries; Freightliner Maintenance Limited, a separate entity dedicated to the repair and maintenance of traction and rolling stock and international subsidiaries; Freightliner PL Limited – operational in Poland and Germany, and Freightliner Australia Pty Limited, which began operations this year.
Increasing network utilization and lowering carbon emission.
PowerHaul locomotives have greater fuel efficiency, higher haulage and acceleration capabilities than any current diesel locomotive in the UK, enabling Freightliner to uniquely; reduce CO2 emissions, improve reliability increase port capacity and network utilisation.
Through the use of our new Shortliner wagons, we are able to haul 42% more 40ft containers per service without wasting any 20ft space, enabling us to meet the growing 40ft market demands whilst fulfilling 20ft container needs.