Feature, Freight News, Logistics

Dartford to be Europa’s central hub

[ June 8, 2015   //   ]

Pan-European groupage operator Europa is to move away from its current twin-hub operation, centralising its international groupage operations on its new Dartford hub. It will end international hub operations in Birmingham on 1 August, but services from Dartford will be expanded, with more services upgraded to daily departures.
The reorganisation will affect 29 jobs at the Birmingham hub but some employees will be offered redeployment elsewhere. The Birmingham sales branch and seafreight office will not be affected and logistics activities will expand into the space vacated by the road freight operation.
Europa Worldwide Group managing director Andrew Baxter said that he believed that the company, which he acquired in August 2013, would break new ground among UK groupage operators by concentrating services on a single hub, rather than the regional structure favoured by most competitors.
He added: “Putting all the volume in one place will give us higher vehicle payloads, and enable us to operate more daily services. In fact, our aspiration is to have all daily lines next year. At the same time, we’ll be able to go direct to more destinations in Europe, and reduce our distribution costs in Europe.”
Europa had, in early June, virtually completed the move of its southern hub from Erith to the new 30 million, 26,000sq m facility in Dartford. It was, said Baxter, probably the only major UK hub built specifically for international road operations. One side of the hub is designed for side-loading curtainsided vehicles, common in UK domestic operation, while bays on the other side are fitted with dock-levellers suited to the end-loading units commonly favoured for pan-European haulage. In logistics terms, the Dartford hub is effectively the ‘frontier’ between the UK and the Continent.
Europa interior resized
Interior of Europa’s new Dartford hub, just before opening.