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Freightliner celebrates anniversary at Maritime Terminal
A MAJOR rail freigh operator has celebrated its 40th anniversary in Southampton.
Mayor of Southampton Cllr Derek Burke was among those to celebrate the four decades Freightliner has operated its Maritime Terminal in the city.
The celebrations coincided with two huge container stacking cranes being unveiled which will boost the lifting capacity of the port’s leading rail freight operator.
The £9m rail-mounted gantry cranes are the largest of their type in the UK.
They will increase reliability and eventually nearly double container lift rates, spanning 13 railroads compared to the seven the existing cranes can span.
It comes as port owners ABP has won consent for a major £80m upgrade of the container terminal to handle the world’s largest container ships.
The new cranes, which were shipped from Ireland to Southampton, will meet the demand driven by recent rail network improvements that have allowed super-sized 9ft 6in high containers to be hauled on standard wagons to the Midlands, north-west and Scotland.
The firm has an 80 per cent market share of container rail freight at Southampton, transporting more than 1,000 containers out of the docks every day.