The Humber Express, as it is called, is a scheduled freight service between the Port of Immingham and iPort in Doncaster.
The service is a partnership between DFDS Seaways and iPort, and has the capacity to move 80 containers a day.
Containers will be loaded directly from ships to trains at the port before being moved by rail to iPort Rail, and from there to onwards destinations across the country. At the same time, goods from across the UK can be forwarded from iPort Rail to Immingham for loading onto ships. The Humber Express will run twice daily.
Immingham is the fourth biggest port in the UK in terms of the number of units that cross the quayside. In 2020, Immingham and Grimsby handled over 10% of all the units moved in and out of the UK, behind Dover, Felixstowe, and London.
Whilst Felixstowe and London have regular and essential unitised rail services to and from the port, until now, Immingham has only moved bulk or break-bulk products by rail.
iPort Rail is an 800-acre site close to the M18 in Doncaster. It is part of the UK’s most advanced multimodal logistics hub which, besides warehousing, has a multimodal freight terminal that can accommodate the UK’s longest freight trains.
Andrew Byrne, managing director of DFDS Seaways, announcing the launch of the service said: “The logistics industry is facing one of its largest challenges in a generation. There are additional complexities due to Brexit still impacting on supply chains, and the current shortage of lorry drivers is threatening to undo years of development of slick and efficient just-in-time operations that rely on supply chains that operate equally as quickly and proficiently.
“With tens of thousands of containers, tank containers and trade vehicles moving in and out of the Port of Immingham every year the fact none of these are moved by rail is something that has long needed addressing. The Humber Express will complement the efficient logistics and transport operations which already successfully run out of the Port of Immingham. I am delighted that DFDS and iPort Rail have had the courage and commitment to make it happen.”
Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, said: “Rail is already a greener alternative for moving goods long distance by road and is being adopted by more businesses to help make their supply chains more sustainable. It also has an important role to play in keeping goods moving while the road haulage industry is under such pressure.
“New approaches and strong strategic partnerships are going to be increasingly important if businesses are going to maximise their potential in the current circumstances. This new service offers businesses a reliable and efficient route to and from the Port of Immingham with the option for customs clearance in Doncaster and seamless onward transit.”