Long-term lease to operate rail freight terminal east of Birmingham in England’s West Midlands marks the latest phase in Maritime Transport’s intermodal network expansion


Will Waters

Leading UK ports group Associated British Ports (ABP) has awarded a long-term lease to Maritime Transport to operate its Hams Hall rail freight terminal near Birmingham in England’s West Midlands, in the latest phase of Maritime Transport’s ambitious UK intermodal network expansion.

One of the UK’s busiest rail freight terminals, Hams Hall “plays a central role in the nation’s logistics network, and its expert team and strategic location have made it an important part of ABP’s portfolio for almost 25 years”, ABP said.

Maritime Transport, an ABP customer at the terminal, has been pursuing a wider strategy to transport more cargo by rail. “Over the last three years, they have established and grown a very successful Intermodal sector, and the purpose-built site at Hams Hall offers the opportunity for them to expand further this important and growing part of their business. ABP and Maritime Transport have agreed that operations in Hams Hall will transfer to Maritime Transport as of 3rd July 2022,” ABP noted.

Alastair Welch, ABP’s Regional Director for Southampton, said: “We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Maritime Transport as a customer of ours at Hams Hall, and we know they are well placed to develop Hams Hall further, incorporating it into their offer for sustainable supply chain solutions to their customers. We look forward to working with them on a smooth transition and wish them and the team at Hams Hall all the very best.”

John Williams, Executive Chairman of Maritime Transport, said: “We have long viewed the Rail Freight Terminal at Hams Hall as a critical location in our plans to move more cargo by rail and we are delighted to have been able to work closely with ABP to agree a long-term solution for Maritime to operate the rail terminal. We are fully focussed on offering the best, secure and sustainable solutions to our customers reducing the environment impact of their supply chains.”

Intermodal expansion by Maritime Transport

In the last few years, Maritime Transport has rapidly expanded its UK intermodal activities, including taking on the operating lease of several other intermodal rail freight terminals in the UK, notably from DB Cargo UK. Last year, Maritime Transport took on the lease of DB Cargo UK’s Mossend EuroTerminal rail freight facility in Lanarkshire, central Scotland, in a further outsourcing of DB Cargo UK’s intermodal business. And two years previously, Maritime Transport’s Maritime Intermodal division took over the lease of DB’s intermodal rail freight facilities in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and Trafford Park in Manchester, as part of a wider 10-year partnership that the two companies claimed will increase capacity and competition in the UK intermodal market.

In 2019, Maritime Transport signed a 25-year lease with property developer SEGRO to operate its new intermodal rail freight terminal in the East Midlands when it opens later this year – the Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) at SEGRO Logistics Park East Midlands Gateway (SLP-EMG).

Meanwhile, Maritime Transport has added several further intermodal services and expanded its depot activities at several UK ports and interchanges.