Intermodal Rail Freight

First regular China-Netherlands rail shuttle launched - September 2016

The first regular rail freight shuttle between China and the Netherlands is up and running, with a 15-day transit time.

Chengdu-Tilburg-Rotterdam Express currently operates weekly with a 15-day transit time but aims to run five times a week from late next year

Launched by the Chinese rail operator CDiRS in June, the Chengdu-Tilburg-Rotterdam-Express is now said to be in full operation. 
At the moment it is a weekly service, but the ambition of CDiRS and its Dutch partner RailPortbrabant, part of the GVT Group, is to run the service five times a week as of late next year.

The operators said the Chengdu-Tilburg-Rotterdam Express reaches its destinations‘door to door’ in 15 days, crossing via Kazakhstan and Moscow. They stressed that Chengdu also offered rail connections to Chinese cities such as Shanghai,Ningbo, Wuhan, Yiwu, Xiamen, Shenzhen, Nanning and Kunming, as well as toVietnam and South Korea.

Roland Verbraak, general manager of logistics at GVT Group, said similar connections were available on the European end to expand the service’s catchment area.“Cargo from China is often shipped by sea, short sea, from the port of Rotterdam to the UK, Scandinavia and Portugal,” he said.

Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, described the new fast land connection as “a great development”, adding: “By sea, Rotterdam is already the most important European destination of Chinese cargo. Thanks to this shuttle,we are now also adding a fast connection by land.

“We strongly believe in this concept, partly because a large part of Europe can efficiently be reached via the excellent short sea connections from Rotterdam -and vice versa, of course.”

Hampshire-based container transport firm bought by a US rail company - December 2016

A HAMPSHIRE-based container transport firm has beenbought by a US rail company.

Pentalver, part of AP Moller-Maersk’s terminals business , has sold Pentalver, which has its HQ in Southampton ,to Genesee & Wyoming Inc.

G&W – a global operator of short line and regional railroads and the parent company of Freightliner , the largest transporter and inland rail terminal operator for the movement of deep sea maritime containers in the UK.

It employs 178 staff in Southampton and their site in the docks covers 25 acres.

Pentalver also operates off-dock terminals at Felixstowe,Southampton, London Gateway and Tilbury , as well as an inland terminal at Cannock in the Midlands

In total it has more than 100 acres of land for storage for loaded and empty containers and operates a fleet of more than 150 trucks.

The firm also provides container maintenance and repair services and is one of the largest sellers ofnew and used containers in the UK.

Freightliner owns and operates two rail facilities in Southampton, which cover 32 acres and handle in excess of 
290,000 containers a year. The larger maritime terminal is located within the port and utilises the straddle carriers operated by DP World

From Southampton, Freightliner runs 15 trains daily and in excess of 430 wagons each way per day to Birmingham, Cardiff, Teesport, Coatbridge, Daventry, Ditton, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.

As well as running container trains from the major ports, Freightliner has a fleet of 250 lorries providing local 
collection and delivery from its inland terminals.

G&W says it is looking to exploit the synergies between the two businesses.

Jack Hellmann,president and chief executive officer of G&W, said: “With the advent of larger container ships and 
the growth of distribution centres in the Midlands and throughout the UK, our maritime intermodal customers are seeking greater service optionality, which includes not only rail and road transport but also the ability to store, 
maintain and position containers.

"Amid the dramatic changes that are structurally altering the global shipping industry,we are pleased to be 
enhancing our service capabilities to meet the long term needs of our intermodal customers in the UK.”

The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

Pentalver will continue to be run by its current managing director Chris Lawrenson, and will operate as part of 
G&W’s UK / Europe Region.

Mr Lawrenson said:“Joining the G&W group is a massive opportunity to enhance the services, capabilities and 
overall capacity of Pentalver and along with subsidiaries such as Freightliner together we will have the ability to offer great services to all customers in the UK.”