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The Port of Long Beach completes construction of new rail project

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The Port of Long Beach completes construction of new rail project. Image: Port of Long Beach
The Port of Long Beach completes construction of new rail project. Image: Port of Long Beach
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The Port of Long Beach has completed construction of a new rail project that will increase efficiency of goods movement and reduce congestion on local roadways by shifting more cargo to trains.

The Double Track Access from Pier G to Pier J Project adds a second rail line running approximately 8,000 feet long that enables four terminals in the Port’s south basin area to simultaneously handle arriving and departing trains.

The project is a vital piece of the Port’s ongoing rail infrastructure capital improvement program aimed at shifting more cargo to rail, one of the goals of the 2017 Update of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan.

“This project is an important piece of the rail improvement program that will increase efficiency and lower emissions at our Port,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We’re continuing to invest in strengthening our supply chain, prioritizing environmental sustainability and reducing impacts on the communities surrounding the Port.”

“This project will streamline operations and reduce truck trips at a time we are experiencing an unprecedented growth in cargo,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “Our investments in on-dock rail will help the Port remain globally competitive and environmentally sustainable well into the future.”

“Alleviating truck traffic will enhance air quality and decrease the impact of Port operations on the surrounding community,” said Sharon L. Weissman, Vice President of the Long Beach Harbor Commission. “Moving goods more efficiently and sustainably remains one of our top priorities.”

Construction started in February 2020 on the project, which increases rail efficiency at Piers G and J up to 25 percent. It will also minimize conflict with neighboring terminals’ on-dock rail operations and improve overall safety in the vicinity.

The $34.7 million project was partially funded with a $14 million grant from the state’s Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which was established by Senate Bill 1 to pay for infrastructure improvements on federally designated freight networks across California using money from the state and the National Highway Freight Program. The Port contributed the remaining funds for the project, which was completed early and under budget.

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Maritime

APM Terminals’ Green Gothenburg Gateway record great heights in 2022

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APM Terminals' Green Gothenburg Gateway record great heights in 2022. Image: APM Terminals
APM Terminals' Green Gothenburg Gateway record great heights in 2022. Image: APM Terminals
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APM Terminals Gothenburg launched the Green Gothenburg Gateway concept to link rail solutions from all over the country with direct shipping from the APM Terminals port. Since its launch, demand has increased dramatically.

The volume of containers transported by rail via APM Terminals Gothenburg increased by 13% this year compared to 2021, taking rail utilisation to record heights.

“The demand for climate-smart and reliable rail solutions is enormous. More than 55% of all goods now reach us by rail and I don’t envision a slowdown,” says Svante Altås, Sr. Sales Executive at APM Terminals Gothenburg. “During the year, we introduced a round-the-clock service to meet demand and create the capacity to handle any variations.”

More to come

In 2022, APM Terminals Gothenburg welcomed ten new shuttles, and expects to add the same number in 2023. Today, the company is handling 75 shuttles a week, which corresponds to 5,200 containers.

“It’s clear that there’s a great need for finding routes that lead to Gothenburg and beyond. We’re seeing particularly high demand from industrial companies in the north of Sweden,” says Altås. “I’m not surprised by the development. Rail offers high reliability and great climate benefits, which have been very important to the market in recent years.”

Investment in capacity

With a new track plan for 2023 (T23), APM Terminals in Gothenburg will add at least three new destinations. In addition, the terminal will introduce Optical Carrier Recognition (OCR) to provide real-time information about units arriving or leaving by rail. OCR technology will also scan all containers to detect any deficiencies.

To further streamline handling, create even more rail capacity, and to prioritise safety, a brake-checking facility has been created inside the terminal. “This measure is expected to save 24 hours per week, which gives us the opportunity to receive new shuttles and deal with deviations even more flexibly,” says Altås.

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Intermodal Transport

DP World launches new train services connecting logistics hubs in UK 

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DP World launches new train services connecting logistics hubs in UK. Image: DP World
DP World launches new train services connecting logistics hubs in UK. Image: DP World
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A new intermodal train service connecting DP World’s container terminals at London Gateway and Southampton will boost the resilience of the customers’ supply chains and enable them to switch volumes quickly and easily between the two UK locations.

The DP World operated service – which ran for the first-time last weekend – is scheduled every Saturday carrying cargo including fresh fruit, beverages and consumer goods in less than five hours. The train takes up to 120 lorries a week off the roads and cuts carbon emissions by up to 80%.

DP World plans to increase the frequency of the train next year. Alongside other recent and ongoing investments in rail connectivity at both ports, this will ease motorway congestion, with a total of 300,000 trucks taken off UK roads each year.

John Trenchard, UK Commercial & Supply Chain Director of DP World, said: “DP World is unique in offering customers a choice of deep-water entry and exit points to and from the UK. This new rail service will make it even easier for our customers to switch volumes quickly and easily between the two locations, which means greater flexibility and choice.”

“After the disruption of recent years, shipping lines and cargo owners are looking for capacity, reliability and growth opportunities. We are providing it, enabling customers to move goods smoothly and efficiently in and out of the UK and across their supply chains,” Trenchard added.

DP World – which operates ports, terminals and logistics businesses on six continents – runs the UK’s most advanced logistics hubs at London Gateway and Southampton: two deep water ports with access to freight rail terminals, and a rapidly expanding logistics park on the doorstep of the capital. Between them they moved a record volume of cargo in the first half of the year, with a combined total of 1.93m TEU.

Last month, DP World announced the start of construction at London Gateway’s new £350 million fourth berth, which will lift capacity by a third when it opens in 2024. The construction project is supporting 1,000 jobs and the port-centric logistics park will employ a further 12,000 people when it is completed in five years’ time.

The company has also earmarked a further £1 billion of investment in the UK over the next 10 years.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Maersk launches new rail service in India, Pratigya Express

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Maersk launches new rail service in India, Pratigya Express. Image: Maersk
Maersk launches new rail service in India, Pratigya Express. Image: Maersk
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A.P. Moller – Maersk, the integrated logistics company, continues to design and implement logistics solutions that address the ever-evolving needs of its customers. Building further on its strong commitment towards developing a robust rail network in India, Maersk flagged off yet another weekly, dedicated rail service, the ‘Pratigya Express’, from Sonipat Inland Container Depot in NCR to APM Terminals Pipavav Port on the western coast of India in Gujarat.

“The NCR is abundant with retail and rice exporters who need a regular connection from their manufacturing facilities to the consumers in the western market. Through our dialogues with our customers, we realised that they faced two challenges – either they don’t have a fixed schedule for departure from Sonipat ICD, and once they get it, they do not necessarily make it to the right vessel connection at the port.” said Major Jyoti Joshi Mitter, Head of Rail, Maersk India.

She added, “Our ambition was to address both these problems with a single solution – we launched a dedicated weekly rail service that gives the exporters a fixed visibility on departure from the origin and then connects to a fixed vessel connection at the APM Terminals Pipavav Port.”

The ‘Pratigya Express’ will move cargo from Sonipat ICD to APM Terminals Pipavav Port with a transit time of two and half days. From there, the cargo will have the option to connect on services such as the Shaheen Express, which will be launched in the coming days or the MECL.

Both of these services will then be able to take the cargo to the Middle Eastern or European markets. Studies show that cargo moved on rail instead of road has advantages in terms of both cost-savings and time-savings. These two benefits eventually also contribute to reducing carbon footprint.

Maersk’s new ‘Pratigya Express’ service on the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor will move 90 TEUs very week. APM Terminals Pipavav Port also plays an important role by being the first port to be connected to the DFC and has excellent connectivity to the hinterland through its rail head and road infrastructure.

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