The partnership has grown from strength to strength with exponential growth since the initial collaboration 20 years ago. GB Railfreight (GBRf) now operates 50 services each day throughout the country, 14 of which are for MSC.
The port has also seen huge expansion over the 20 years, moving from 28 to 76 daily trains, 30 of which belong to GBRf making for 166 GBRf trains running both to and from Felixstowe each week.
Three new GBRf services from Felixstowe have been launched over the last year with the partnership between the rail operator and the Port of Felixstowe seeing growth year upon year.
As the port has expanded, GBRf has been able to serve more customers than ever, transporting a massive 245,240 containers in and out of the port in 2021, and 62,441 containers through the first quarter of 2022. Felixstowe’s reputation as the largest deep sea port provides the opportunity to deliver better and more efficient services for GBRf clients. GB Railfreight has also been servicing seven of the inland terminals since 2002, strengthening the port’s ability to bolster the UK’s supply chains and supporting economic growth.
Future plans anticipate further expansion for Felixstowe, which could bring 90 daily rail freight services from the port. GBRf has launched three new services for iPort, Tinsley and Birch Coppice over the past year and employs 100 members of staff at the port who operate a seven-day-a-week service with the intention of increasing the number of team members and services to meet customer demand.
The relationship between GBRf and the Port of Felixstowe has been incredibly effective and was able to demonstrate this over the past two years support the UK’s economy moving through the pandemic and supplying crucial PPE during the height of the first lockdown in 2020. In more recent times, HGV driver shortages, the effects of Brexit and the pressure of Christmas supply chains have seen the partnership provide outstanding service as goods were kept moving to consumers and businesses without significant disruption.
John Smith, CEO of GB Railfreight, said:
“Without our 20-year partnership, we would not have been able to support the UK economy in the way that we did. Felixstowe has been crucial to the success of GBRf and the wider rail freight sector, enabling us to deliver more services, in a more efficient way, to customers. In the next 20 years, our partnership will be multi-faceted, as we work together to make the UK’s supply chains even more resilient, efficient, and importantly, sustainable too”.
Clemence Cheng, CEO, Port of Felixstowe, said:
“GB Railfreight are a key partner helping to ensure that we are able to offer shippers a range of frequent, efficient and sustainable distribution options from the Port of Felixstowe. We have worked closely with them as their operation has grown over the last 20 years and look forward to continuing the relationship long into the future.”