Introducing iPort

Source: RTM Oct/Nov 2018

Steve Freeman, managing director of iPort Rail, introduces the UK’s newest inland freight terminal.

The UK’s newest inland rail freight terminal for 10 years – iPort Rail – is now open and operational.

It is another huge success story for the region, not only bringing a state-of-the-art terminal to the iPort logistics hub, but opening up South Yorkshire and the surrounding areas to faster trading links with the rest of the UK and Europe.

Its Doncaster location is a major advantage. Almost 90% of the mainland UK population is within a four-hour drivetime, so the terminal is set to change the regional and national intermodal landscape, especially around Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Humberside and the M62 corridor.

iPort Rail connects to the national rail network from the South Yorkshire Joint Line to the west of Doncaster on the freight-only line which goes on to Maltby and Worksop. The site is also close to St Catherine’s loop, adjacent to the electrified East Coast Main Line (ECML) and the gauge cleared connectivity, which the ECML offers both north and south.

The facility is currently capable of handling 775m trains and includes an 800m reception siding and two 400m loading sidings. There is further space to expand the rail head as demand grows, potentially doubling the size of the terminal. Two new reach stackers with 115-tonne front axle loads are now on site and there is space to offer secure storage of up to 1,500 TEU of laden and empty containers.

The site will be open 24 hours a day, six days a week, and the rail yard has been designed to maximise operational flexibility and efficiency while keeping costs down. There will be opportunity to deliver containers from the railhead directly to distribution centres and warehouses on the iPort estate using IMV/tugs with associated road delivery cost savings.

iPort itself is one of the UK’s largest multimodal logistics hubs, with planning consent for six million square feet.

In addition to having excellent rail links, iPort is very well connected by road for ‘last mile’ deliveries. A new dual carriageway, the Great Yorkshire Way, allows for uncongested and easy access to iPort. The M18 is just half a mile away, while the A1 and the M1 are both within easy reach.

The terminal is managed by a dedicated, professional and experienced team using modern terminal management systems. The IT systems have been developed in such a way that real-time direct electronic dealings with customers will be available, and iPort Rail will continue to work with customers to create fully integrated software solutions based on their needs.

The team also understands the importance of minimising downtime in terms of assets and freight, as well as the need for first-class customer service at all times. The aim is to always be a market leader in turnaround times for rail and road. While primarily dealing with intermodal, the facility will look at other freight sectors, such as automotive, steel, energy and parcels to take advantage of the excellent connectivity and market-leading facilities provided here.

In short, iPort Rail is a truly visionary rail freight terminal, providing highly modern logistics solutions in a strategically important location. And now, after many years’ hard work, it is ready to welcome new customers.


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