Maritime Transport Selected as Operator for UK’s £1Bn Largest Logistics Development

Maritime Transport Selected as Operator for UK's Largest Logistics Development

The UK’s largest logistics development has reached a significant milestone with the appointment of an operator for its strategic rail freight interchange (SRFI) on the West Coast Mainline.

Maritime Transport has inked a deal for the West Midlands Interchange (WMI) contract with Oxford Properties Group and developer Logistics Capital Partners. This joint venture acquired the 734-acre site in 2021 and is spearheading the largest rail-served logistics development in the UK.

With a workforce of 3,000 spread across 40 sites and rail terminals, Maritime stands as the largest privately owned intermodal (road/rail) logistics operator in the UK, boasting an annual turnover of £400 million.

The company will oversee the SRFI, which will complement 8 million square feet of prime warehouse facilities at the £1 billion WMI project. Additionally, Maritime has submitted a planning application for its site offices.

Maritime reports a significant increase in container movements by rail, rising from 6% in 2019 to over 24% in 2023, and is gearing up for the introduction of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).

Site work has commenced, encompassing substantial earthworks, highways construction, water installation, and the establishment of two new community parks. Phase 1 of the WMI will entail the construction of six logistics units, totaling a combined 2.7 million square feet of space.

James Boadle, Senior Vice President at Oxford Properties, remarked, “This next step to create the leading intermodal logistics facility in the UK’s Golden Triangle is a significant one. Maritime are the leaders in their field, and WMI is the leading logistics development in the country – the two coming together will deliver a significant boost to the regional and national Economy.”

“Demand for best-in-class logistics space that’s sustainable and well connected continues to significantly outstrip supply,” Boadle continued. “With WMI poised to reduce up to 50 million kilometres of HGV traffic annually, today marks yet another milestone for a project that exemplifies both Oxford’s conviction in UK logistics, and our commitment to ESG.”

James Markby, Managing Partner at LCP, added, “Our agreement with Maritime, securing them as the long-term SRFI operator, demonstrates great confidence in the strategic success of West Midlands Interchange. The project is key to decarbonising UK logistics, with rail freight producing up to 70% less CO2 emissions compared to road freight, and a leading operator like Maritime will ensure it lives up to its potential.”

John Williams, Group Executive Chairman of Maritime, expressed, “As the leading road and rail freight logistics provider in the UK, West Midlands Interchange is the obvious next addition to our rail network.”

“Being the long-term operator of WMI fits exactly with our wider strategy of decarbonising the full load supply chain by moving cargo closer to the end user by rail,” Williams added.

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