Rail freight in Southampton (Photo DP World)

UK: DP World has announced a modal shift programme designed to encourage the use of rail for the transport for goods imported through the port of Southampton.

The programme running for 12 months from September will charge a flat £10 fee on all import-laden containers. Customers whose container is moved to a railhead more than 225 km away will be reimbursed, and a £70 incentive paid to those whose container is moved to a railhead within 225 km.

DP World said market economics mean intermodal rail already makes sense for distances over 225 km, but for shorter deliveries the economic difference is less clear, and so the incentive aims to increase the likelihood of a modal shift.

‘Over the last few years there has been gradual decline in the share of rail’, said John Trenchard, UK Commercial & Supply Chain Director, on June 6. ‘Through the modal shift programme we aim to increase the rail share up towards 40% by the end of 2025 — removing an estimated 30 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from our customers’ onward supply chains.’