The arrival of a new EWS railfreight service from Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Southampton on April 12, 2007 constituted the first of 15 weekly train movements for Kuehne + Nagel calling at Hams Hall, which will also include Felixstowe as an additional port of call. ABP Connect – owner and operator of the multi-user Hams Hall facility – is to invest £2.5m ($5m) in terminal infrastructure upgrades and handling equipment, and will take on 10 new operational staff.
The investment will include a new RTG crane, two additional reachstackers and 13,000 sq m of extra paved storage space, capable of storing up to 2,000 teu. ABP Connect will also invest in an advanced yard management system. These new developments will be completed by October of this year and, in time, a ‘self-service’ express lane for delivery lorries will be introduced to improve vehicle turnaround times. The system will utilise two-way EDI and web-based technology options as demand increases, thereby ‘future-proofing’ the operation.
“Since ABP Connect acquired Hams Hall in 2002, we have invested £5m ($10m) in new terminal developments, which have helped us increase its annual throughput from 18,000 boxes to 94,000 boxes in just five years. We are very pleased to welcome Kuehne + Nagel and are investing in new equipment and staff to ensure that they receive a high level of customer service,” said Chris Harris, ABP Connect’s business development manager.
Kuehne + Nagel estimates that utilising rail services through Hams Hall will save a minimum of 3m road miles per annum, rising to 4m by the end of the five-year agreement.
Peter Ulber, chief executive of Kuehne + Nagel North-West Europe, commented: “The Hams Hall agreement is a significant milestone in Kuehne + Nagel’s aim to becoming a market leader in intermodal services. It is not necessarily difficult to move a container from port to port. The challenge lies in covering the last mile of the journey and meeting tight delivery windows at customer sites inland. [This] demands a sophisticated intermodal infrastructure.”