The cargo of a fire-damaged ship has been saved by an intrepid rail freight company.
The captain of the Zim Rotterdam cargo container ship, sailing from Port Klang in Malaysia to Felixstowe, had to lay up off the coast unable to dock even though the fire had been extinguished. After several ship-to-shore discussions the Israeli freighter was found a berth at the London Gateway, Britain’s newest deep sea Port and Logistic Park, even though the port is not scheduled to open until November.
The next challenge was to organise the unloading of the ship. Getting sufficient lorries into the new docks would have taken weeks. Instead quick thinking rail freight staff at DB Schenker laid on a daily freight service to Trafford Park in Manchester.
Zim Rotterdam was the first commercial cargo ship to be unloaded at the new deep sea port ahead of the official opening next month. Rail staff from Network Rail and DB Schenker worked tirelessly around the clock with their counterparts at London Gateway.
Says Carsten Hinne of DB Schenker Rail UK, ‘This has been an incredible effort and demonstrates how the team, and indeed the industry, has come together to help support Zim and its customers.
‘I haven’t seen collective support from the industry like this in any way before and it’s amazing to think we have put a service together in just a few days – let alone from a non-operational port. We realised that a solution was needed quickly and viewed this as an opportunity to help Zim, the London Gateway team and the cargo owners in providing a service from the port.’
To celebrate the success of the relationship DB Schenker Rail later named a Class 66 loco, 66185, ‘DP World London Gateway’ as the containers sped on their way.