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DP World aims for 40% rail freight share at Southampton by 2026

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SOUTHAMPTON : DP World is encouraging freight owners to move their products by rail from Southampton, removing thousands of vehicles off the UK’s highways and aiming for a 40% rail freight share in 2026.

The Modal Shift Programme at Southampton, which is being extended until the end of next year, encourages freight owners to transport their import-laden containers by rail to a railhead within 140 miles of the logistics hub rather than by vehicle. Since the program’s inception in September 2023, Southampton’s rail freight share has increased from 21% to 30%. Its success has resulted in the introduction of four more daily rail services at the Southampton port, bringing the total number of weekly scheduled trains to 172.

“Due to the positive increase in the share of rail freight since the trial’s inception, we believe that we can target a 40% share of rail freight target in 2026. At a time when customers face multiple challenges, including escalating geopolitical uncertainty, increased regulatory risk, and the urgent need to decarbonise supply chains, our Modal Shift Programme has proved highly attractive,” stated John Trenchard, Vice President UK Commercial & Supply Chain at DP World.

Financial incentives have been assessed quarterly until now, but starting in October, they will be reviewed every six months. The project has already contributed to DP World’s target of taking an estimated 300,000 truck rides off UK roads each year and saved customers and supply chain partners approximately an additional 6,400 tons of carbon dioxide in the first six months.

“Over the coming year, DP World is looking forward to working closely with the market to refine the initiative further, helping to ensure it delivers the best results for our customers and their operations, as well as our own. We are creating a solution that works for all partners across the supply chain,” commented John Trenchard.

In addition to its hubs in Southampton and London Gateway, DP World provides logistics, freight forwarding, and European transport services, all of which are being integrated into a worldwide network that handles 10% of global commerce.

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