Supplementary memorandum by the British
Ports Association (P 16A)
RELATING TO THE IMPACT ON DISRUPTION TO RAIL
SERVICES ON THE PORT OF TYNE
Container feeder services were set up on the
Tyne to handle the deep sea containers for the Nissan Car plant.
This was followed by a second service operating a single company
service for both their feeder service and door-to-door between
the Iberian Peninsular and the Baltic. The volumes continued to
grow until 1996 and they seemed to plateau and levels were fluctuating
around 15,000-16,000 units per annum with three to four ships
from three companies calling per week, principally with import
During this time dedicated facilities for container
handling were developed: there is now a complete service available,
ie total supply chain management, where required:
container compound control;
deliver, either by road or rail;
of containers; and
warehousing and distribution.
In year 2000 it was obvious that demand from
the main shipping lines was increasing and we decided to market
the services much more actively. What was quickly established
(1) there was serious congestion at the large
(2) hauliers were reducing truck fleets because
of poor profitability and driver shortages; and
(3) rail freight could not cope.
The alternative was to use the Short Sea Feeder
(a) Ex Rotterdam
Depending on the port rotation of the deep sea
ship, containers for the North East could be discharged from the
mother vessel to the feeder vessel in Rotterdam and arrive two
days earlier at reduced cost to the shipper/carrier.
The feeder route is Rotterdam/Felixstowe/Tyne/Grangemouth
so North East containers are also collected at Felixstowe.
Following the Hatfield rail problems the deep
sea lines took advantage of the short sea feeder and found that
they maintained a much more reliable service to their customers,
and transit time and costs were lower.
As a result, 22,300 units were shipped in Year
2000, a 44 per cent increase on 1999. Until now the service has
been primarily focused on imported goods and the deep sea lines
are now asking for export calls and empty container repositioning
calls from the Tyne.
The Feeder company has responded by increasing
the number of calls to four per week from the end of March (not
yet announced, one call of which will be direct ex Rotterdam.
This will bring the number of container ships calling at the Tyne
to six per week.
We expect at least a further 25 per cent growth
this year. The aim being to capture more imports and now to actually
target exports from the North East area which currently, in many
cases, continue to be transported to South Coast ports by road