In February DKT Allseas launched a temporary sea route between China and Liverpool, which proved so popular it has increased sailings and has now added an inland freight rail link. Tony McDonough reports
Shipping operator DKT Allseas has launched a new freight rail link out of the Port of Liverpool to meet soaring demand on its China to Liverpool sea route.
In February, DKT Allseas (part of the Allseas Logistics Group), began what was to be a temporary sea link between China and the Port of Liverpool. However, by May the China Xpress service had proved so popular the number of sailings increased.
Originally a short-term solution to avoid congestion at southern English ports, the China Xpress is now a permanent fixture. To complement its growth, DKT is now running a five-days-a-week rail link from Liverpool to Freightliner’s Birmingham Terminal.
It will carry 26 x 60ft wagons enabling DKT Allseas to move up to 76 x 20ft or 26 x 40ft and 26 x 20ft containers of freight per day. It offers a fast and reliable alternative to road transport for its customers at a time when road hauliers are struggling to source enough drivers to service the demand.
David Huck, managing director at Peel Ports, said: “We have worked with DKT Allseas since February this year and, since its inception, the China Xpress liner service has gone from strength to strength over a very short period.
“Originally launching as a temporary supply chain critical service, fast forward nine months and we are delighted to see this now part of an established route positioning the Port of Liverpool as a viable call for Far East services.”
Since the initial sailing in February, DKT Allseas has expanded its China Xpress service from one to three ports in China direct to Liverpool, as well as introducing a new service call from China direct to the USA, both east and west coast.
Darren Wright, managing director at DKT Allseas, said: “The China Xpress service was the first of its kind to offer a direct service call, providing a gateway from the Far East directly into the heart of the UK’s cargo owning community.
“An initiative born out of necessity and frustration to provide relief to customers facing increased ocean freight rates and reduced reliability due to the knock-on impacts of the global pandemic.
“As those frustrations permeate the UK with the widely publicised HGV driver shortages, this new rail service further enhances the China Xpress by providing another tangible logistics solution to our customers.”
A combination COVID-19 and Brexit over the past 18 months has resulted in UK driver shortages which have had a negative impact on many supply chains. Road haulage is an essential part of the economy, accounting for around 90% of all surface transport in the UK. This new train service by DKT Allseas will alleviate some of these pressures.