Comment

31.07.18

British manufacturing in buoyant demand for steel

Source: RTM June/July 2018

Roger Neary, head of logistics sales at DB Cargo UK, discusses the rail freight company’s £6m expansion of its steel warehousing facilities in Wolverhampton, which will provide a major boost to British manufacturing.

Over the past 12 months, DB Cargo UK has gone through a significant programme of restructuring and modernisation to adapt to recent changes in our core markets and ensure we remain competitive in the future. We’re the biggest provider of rail freight here in the UK and we intend to maintain our market-leading position, despite the many challenges the industry is facing.

Over the past few years, we have introduced a more efficient operating model and have invested in new systems and technology to streamline our processes and deliver a more reliable and resilient service. We’ve emerged a more efficient and effective organisation in a much better position to meet the increasing expectations of our customers.

One of those customers is the world’s largest steel manufacturer, ArcelorMittal, who will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of our latest investment. DB Cargo UK has recently taken over the handling of ArcelorMittal’s West Midlands logistics chain. The company imports steel from Europe via the ports of Immingham, Hull, Goole, and Boston in Lincolnshire.

The steel is transported by rail to our terminal on Lower Walsall Street in Horseley Fields, where it is unloaded before being transferred onto the road network for delivery to customers across the West Midlands.

There is a buoyant demand for steel from engineering and manufacturing firms in the area and we are delighted to be in a position to help meet this demand. The gradual reduction in steel production in the UK has led to increasing demand for imported supplies from Europe.

Our new centre will have a storage capacity for 40,000 tonnes of steel, or 3,325 coils. At present, Wolverhampton only has capacity for storing 1,380 steel coils, so the increase in capacity is massive. When complete, we will be offering some 11,800m2 of covered space for the storage of strip steel coil, with 3,300 variable floor-level locations for different-sized coils.

The central location of our steel logistics centre means that our customers will be able to significantly reduce their carbon footprint. Moving the heavy steel coils by rail for the majority of their journey is more environmentally-friendly than transporting them by heavy goods vehicles and will significantly reduce traffic congestion on the roads, as each train can carry as much material as around 76 lorries.

At the end of September 2017, DB Cargo UK ran a trial train of 20 loaded specialist covered wagons from the port of Boston on the east coast to Wolverhampton, a journey of around 200km. This train now runs once a week and we are aiming to run this service three or four times a week once the new centre is open.

There is now plenty of activity taking place on the site, with the construction of the main warehouse taking shape from March 2018 and due for completion by the autumn. We first opened our facilities in Wolverhampton in 1969 when the city was at the centre of steel and iron production in the UK. Now, over 50 years later, the industry has changed massively – but the site is still of huge strategic importance.

Building the new centre will expand our capabilities and the number of rail services we can provide, offering our customers a fast, efficient, reliable and eco-friendly way to transport their steel. Three additional new jobs will also be created when the centre opens, taking our local workforce to 18.

It’s an incredibly exciting time for DB Cargo UK and will provide us with a facility that will serve the region for many more decades to come.

 

Enjoying RTM? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

View all News

rail industry focus

Doncaster area could be turbo-charged by new Integrated Rail Plan

26/07/2019Doncaster area could be turbo-charged by new Integrated Rail Plan

Wide ranging improvements to rail services ar... more >
Your chance to meet Midland Metro Alliance executives at TCR Midlands event

01/07/2019Your chance to meet Midland Metro Alliance executives at TCR Midlands event

Director of the Midland Metro Alliance, Aleja... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Year with brand-new infrastructrure to... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the TOC, gives RTM an update on the innovative scheme. Recognising that young people are more likely to take a risk trespassing on railway tracks, C... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

12/08/2019Network Rail’s Anna-Jane Hunter on, NPR, TRU, HS2 and supply chain opportunities

Anna- Jane Hunter, is a ‘proud northerner’ and is passionate about continuing the investment and success story of rail across the North.  She plays a key role in working with government and northern leaders to enable the network to carry on thriving. We caught up with Anna-Jane, for her expertise and insight into connecti... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in ... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >