Rail solving the riddle of the awkward 20ft container

November 2014          Rail is increasingly coming to the rescue of logistics firms handling 20ft containers, offering large savings in transport costs and hugely reducing CO2 emissions.

20ft shipping containers, which are half the length of their alternatives are an industry favourite as they help stay within weight limitations which come with dense products such as food and drink.

However, road hauliers tend to price by the journey, not the size of the shipment, and so moving these smaller containers around by HGV becomes expensive in terms of both financial outlay and CO2 emissions. Switching to larger containers isn’t a much better option, as they often hit the maximum weight long before they’re full.  (A 40ft container can only carry around 2% more weight than a 20ft container.)

And so, logistics firms are turning to rail to transport them around the UK – picking up on the 25 to 30% discounts for smaller containers and hugely reducing costs and boosting their green credentials.

Intermodal logistics firm FreightArranger is seeing a rise in demand for its services, which helps firms pair up road and rail transport to make transporting goods around the country quicker, more efficient and more cost-effective than either of those methods used alone.

Nick Radcliffe MD of FreightArranger explained: “It doesn’t make any sense to pay over the odds to take smaller containers along our already congested motorway network, when rail offers a straightforward and more cost effective alternative.”

FreightArranger is positioned at the heart of the transport industry, designed to increase the use of rail by making intermodal logistics more efficient. Its design makes the most of both road and rail by organising transport via a web-based system.

The intermodal freight brokerage specialist has designed a system which makes it easier and quicker to use rail freight by providing a simple enquiry and booking screen on the web. It is designed for single or multiple container moves, bringing the benefits of rail freight to a wider community.

Nick added: “Intermodal freight takes the best of both worlds, keeping costs down and getting goods where they need to be more efficiently.

“And now, with the drivers’ CPC coming into force, driver rates are increasing which makes rail even more attractive.”