DP World drive to shift freight from road to rail sees 13500 lorry journeys cut at Southampton hub

The increase is attributed to the company's Modal Shift Programme trial, introduced last September, which is designed to increase the attractiveness of intermodal rail for customers through financial incentives. From September to February the share of freight units being moved by rail instead of road at DP World Southampton has increased by two-thirds, from 21% to 35%. The increase has been supported by the introduction of four new train services from the terminal to Cardiff, East Midlands Gateway, Hams Hall and Doncaster respectively, strengthening DP World's end-to-end logistics offer for cargo owners and freight forwarders.

DP World calculates that since the beginning of the programme, its customers and supply chain partners have saved approximately 4,500 additional tonnes of carbon dioxide by choosing rail over road - the equivalent of 13,500 lorry journeys. It added that this is more than the total emissions of DP World Southampton's operations. Customers are currently being offered an GBP80 financial incentive if they move import-laden containers via rail to a railhead within 140 miles of the logistics hub.

DP World said that without this incentive, which is financed by a small charge on all import-laden containers, freight moved within this range would normally travel via road haulage. When the programme was first introduced in September last year the rate paid was GBP70. This was increased to GBP100 in January and has since dropped to GBP80.

John Trenchard, Vvice president UK commercial & supply chain at DP World, said: "We believe that our Modal Shift Programme at Southampton has allowed our customers to explore how rail can be effectively utilised to achieve lower carbon international supply chains serving the UK economy. "At a time when the pressure to manage costs, maintain reliability and improve speed has never been greater, providing our customers with the right services and incentives to help them unlock better ways to move cargo is of paramount importance. "We are continually engaging with the market to strengthen this service, so we look forward to providing our customers with new options to meet their decarbonisation goals."

In addition to its UK hubs at Southampton and London Gateway, DP World's offer includes logistics, forwarding and European transport capabilities, all of which are being integrated into the company's global network.

Operating in 78 countries, DP World handles 10% of world trade.