A new freight service from the Port of Sunderland to Wolverhampton, which has transported almost 3,000 tonnes of steel coil for new-to-rail company Marcegaglia, is also the first time that rail freight has operated at the Tyne and Wear port in over 20 years.
Marcegaglia is the largest independent global operator in the steel processing industry and the largest precision tube manufacturer in Great Britain, with facilities in Dudley in the West Midlands and Rotherham in South Yorkshire.
The new service, which has run twice during June and is operated by DB Cargo, removed the need for more than 120 HGV movements, thereby reducing congestion on the UK road network and carbon emissions.
The first train consisted of 21 wagons, each loaded with six 15-tonne steel coils, hauled by a Class 60 locomotive. As it pulled out of the port on 22 June 2021, Matthew Hunt, director at Port of Sunderland, said: “It is fantastic to see a commercial cargo train being loaded in the port again, this is something we have been working towards for some time and the team here have been working hard to have the port’s rail connections ready for such an operation.
“Loading cargo to trains can bring many advantages. This train alone removes the need for over 60 truckloads of cargo from our roads – not only does this provide a cost saving for the customer, but it significantly reduces the road miles, congestion and most importantly, the carbon emissions associated with so many traffic movements.”
Port of Sunderland, which is owned by Sunderland City Council, continues to see growth across all of its key market sectors. Cargo volumes are on the rise and shipping movements are now at a level not experienced for many years, with approximately 206 arrivals and departures in the last 100 days alone.
Roger Neary, DB’s head of sales, added: “Marcegaglia is a prestigious addition to DB’s portfolio of customers in the steel sector and further strengthens our reputation as the biggest mover of metal products in the UK.”