Feature, Forwarding, Freight News, Rail

Ireland’s IWT adds more trains to the West

[ May 1, 2019   //   ]

International Warehousing and Transport (IWT) is to step up its intermodal rail freight service between Dublin Port and Ballina from seven to nine departures a week from mid May.

IWT started the service from Dublin to Ballina in the west of Ireland with two services a week in August 2009, mainly to move concentrates to the factory of a well-known soft drinks firm, which is still the mainstay of the operation. However additional customers from the medical, retail and brewing industries in the area are now taking advantage of the service.

Irish Rail is to spend €1m on upgrading the Ballina terminal, which is used as a railhead for the West and North West of Ireland and the adjacent IWT storage yard is used as a base for regular container transfers to Westport, Letterkennny, Tuam and Castlebar. The yard is used for buffer stock allowing customers to store product close to production facilities thereby reducing lead time and eliminating costly storage charges at Dublin Port.

The increased use of rail is due primarily to the steadily increasing cost of fuel and truck driver wages over the last 12-18 months. Moreover, increased volumes through Dublin Port due to Brexit concerns has resulted in truck queues at terminals and increased congestion. The lower carbon footprint of rail transport is also encouraging some movement from the roads.

IWT says that its services operating from Dublin Port have had a 99% load factor whilst those from Ballina are also loading very well.