Over the past 12 months, DB Cargo UK has more than doubled the size of its existing facility in Knowles Road, Wolverhampton, which receives imported steel from the Netherlands and Sweden
The £6M project, first announced last year, is one of the largest investments in rail freight in the past five years "and is seen as a major vote of confidence in the UK’s continuing ability to trade and attract inward investment post-Brexit," said DB Cargo UK.
The new logistics centre will be used by some of the world’s biggest steel companies including ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel and SSAB and provided a major boost to local businesses that use their products in their manufacturing processes.
DB Cargo UK’s Chief Executive Hans-Georg Werner said: “This is a fantastic investment story for the UK. Despite all the uncertainty over Brexit, here you have a large German-owned company willing to invest significant sums of money that will greatly benefit British and foreign businesses.
“This investment demonstrates DB Cargo UK’s commitment to be the first choice for rail freight in the UK and our confidence in the resilience and sustainability of the international steel market,” he added.
DB Cargo UK is the UK’s biggest transporter of metal products and its Midlands investment will significantly strengthen the local steel supply chain.
“There is buoyant demand for steel from engineering and manufacturing firms in the area and we are delighted to be in a position to work with our customers to help meet this demand,” said Werner.
The new rail freight centre stands adjacent to the West Coast Mainline. It occupies11,880 m2 and has a capacity to store around 48,000 tonnes of steel - the equivalent of 3,324 coils.
The company currently transports steel to the centre by rail from the ports of Immingham, Hull and Boston, where it is then unloaded before being transferred onto HGVs for final delivery by road.
Philippa Edmunds, from Freight on Rail, said; "Rail freight terminals help tackle our congested national roads network and improve air quality by reducing the overall number of lorries on UK roads." Every train delivery to Wolverhampton will remove an estimated 76 HGV’s from Britain’s roads.
Rail freight volumes are down in the UK this year, notwithstanding an increase in international freight (ie Channel tunnel rail freight). This is due to a decline in coal shipments and a sharp decline in intermodal due to the problems at Felixstowe.