Trial at DP World Southampton offers businesses financial incentive to move goods off the road and onto rail

DP World has launched a new programme in the UK to help cargo owners reduce their carbon emissions by shifting from road to rail.

The Modal Shift Programme, which is being trialled at DP World’s Southampton Logistics Hub, offers customers a financial incentive to move their imported goods off the road and onto rail.

The aim is to cut carbon emissions and air pollutants and it is estimated that the programme could prevent as much as 30,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted per year.

The financial incentive will be paid for by a small charge on all import-laden containers coming through DP World Southampton.

Under the scheme, importers whose containers are moved by rail to a railhead within 140 miles of DP World Southampton will receive a £70 incentive. Containers that are moved by rail to a railhead more than 140 miles from DP World Southampton will be reimbursed the £10 fee on each container.

John Trenchard, UK commercial and supply chain director at DP World, said: “Southampton has traditionally moved more containers by rail more than any other UK terminal. Over the last few years however, there has been a gradual decline in rail share – a consequence of the wider nationwide challenges facing rail freight at present.

“Through the Modal Shift Programme we aim to increase the rail share up towards 40 per cent by the end of 2025, supporting the UK Government’s ambition to drive the modal shift from road freight to more environmentally sustainable alternatives like rail.”

He added: “DP World will help mitigate the impacts of climate change by becoming a net zero logistics organisation by 2050 and continue to support our customers on their own decarbonisation journeys. We invite supply chain partners to review if rail can play a bigger role in their UK supply chains.”

DP World was named ‘Sustainability Company of the Year’ at Multimodal 2023 thanks, in part, to its Modal Shift Programme. The company was also recognised for delivering a 55 per cent reduction in net carbon emissions from its fleet and installations at Southampton in 2022 after transitioning to Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and its £12m investment at London Gateway in the first all-electric fleet of straddle carriers to go into commercial operation at a port anywhere in the world.

In addition to its UK hubs at Southampton and London Gateway, DP World’s offer includes logistics, forwarding and European transport capabilities. Operating in 78 countries, DP World now handles around 10 per cent of world trade.