DFDS tests transport of RDF bales via rail

DFDS are always looking at innovative ways to move freight, but what if we could decrease our carbon footprint at the same time?

“This is what we are trying to achieve with RDF bales that are located at sites normally too far away in the UK and too expensive in haulage to bring to Immingham. However, we are currently testing options to use the rail heads that are connected to the Immingham Terminal for this,” says Mike Hughes, Business Development Manager.

“If we are able to tap into these volumes it will both increase tonnage moved for the customer and the export tonnage for DFDS as the RDF bales are currently going to exit non-DFDS ports located near the RDF processing sites.”

GB Railfreight supplied their newly painted ‘pride’ locomotive and two rail wagons while Westfields Plant & Management Services (located on Immingham dock) rallied round to get a grab and machine to try out the loading / unloading of RDF bales. This test may not seem that spectacular. However, this isn’t happening anywhere in the UK so DFDS could be at the forefront of offering this specific solution, creating a huge win for the three parties involved (DFDS, Geminor and GB Railfreight).

“Even though this was only a test, we can now figure out how we move forward. A lot of time and effort has gone into just getting to this stage, and there will still be a lot of hard work ahead to find the ideal rail wagon that can transport the maximum number of bales safely while being efficient with the loading and unloading,” says Mike.

“In order to achieve a cost-effective solution, we would be looking to move around 1500 tonnes per journey, which is equivalent to around 55 truckloads of RDF. This is a really exciting time for the RDF market when export tonnage has been pretty static over the last 12 months and we are competing with other ports to secure volumes. Being able to offer a new solution like this could just be the answer to increasing the throughput for the port/terminal and routes. I am very confident with the teams involved, and we all have high ambitions to make it work.”


The loading operation was carried out by Westfields Plant & Management Services

August 16, 2019