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HS2 unveils the ‘beating heart of HS2 in London’ at its London logistics hub

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HS2 unveils the ‘beating heart of HS2 in London’ at its London logistics hub. Image: HS2
HS2 unveils the ‘beating heart of HS2 in London’ at its London logistics hub. Image: HS2
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HS2 has revealed the colossal logistics operation that is taking place at HS2’s logistics hub near Willesden Junction. The 30-acre site will be the beating heart of the logistics operation for HS2 in London, and will be where earth from the 26 miles of tunnel will be processed and critical construction materials, such as pre-cast tunnel segment rings, will be delivered. The hub has been constructed and will be operated by HS2’s Main Works Civils Contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture.

The construction of HS2’s London tunnels will require 5.6million tonnes of earth to be excavated. After being processed at the site near Willesden Junction, it will be taken by train to three locations across the UK – Barrington in Cambridgeshire, Cliffe in Kent, and Rugby in Warwickshire – where it will put to beneficial reuse, filling voids which will then be used as a basis for redevelopment, such as house building.

The site will also receive over 100,000 pre-cast tunnel segment rings which will be used to form the walls of the London tunnels, delivered by rail from UK manufacturing sites. HS2’s contractor SCS JV has already confirmed that the first contract for pre-cast tunnel segment rings has been awarded to Pacadar UK, and will be delivered to the site from their factory in the Isle of Grain in Kent.

At peak operation, eight trains per day will depart and arrive at the logistics hub, maximising the use of rail freight in the construction of HS2 in London and resulting in one million lorry movements not going on UK roads.

Speaking at the opening of HS2’s Logistics Hub, HS2’s Chief Executive Officer, Mark Thurston said: “In building Britain’s new high-speed railway, HS2 is committed to protecting the environment and minimising our carbon footprint during design, construction and operation. As a result, we are moving as much material as we can by rail as part of our Materials by Rail programme. The logistics hub at Willesden will be the beating heart of our London logistics operation and is a critical part of how we are building HS2.”

The operation is being coordinated from a refurbished building on the site. Sheffield based SME, 3Squared, has developed a bespoke rail logistics software solution to manage and track the railway materials movements in and out.

Speaking about the scale of the operation, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture Managing Director, James Richardson, said: “The logistics hub is central to the London Tunnels programme. Collaborating with other partners delivering HS2, we will remove 5.6million tonnes of spoil by rail and bringing in our tunnel segments, taking one million lorry journeys off the road. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and by using rail we will reduce our carbon emissions for logistics by 40%.”

Tim Jones, Managing Director of 3Squared, said: “It is fantastic to see the hard work and effort coming to fruition in this large-scale logistics operation, which will radically improve efficiencies and operations across the wider UK transport network. Joining the HS2 project has marked an exciting chapter in 3Squared’s journey, and we look forward to continuing to work with SCS JV and providing our technological skill and expertise, as HS2 progresses.”

The London Logistics Hub sits on the old Freightliner Terminal site that first opened in 1967. It went on to become one of nine regional freight terminals developed specifically to handle Channel Tunnel intermodal traffic but eventually went into disuse in 2005. The site’s connections to the conventional railway make it an ideal location to coordinate HS2’s London logistics operation.

The logistics trains are currently operated by GB Railfreight and the entire operation is the result of meticulous planning between HS2, Network Rail, SCS JV and HS2’s supply chain. The first train departed the site at the end of June, taking 1,470 tonnes of spoil to Barrington in Cambridgeshire.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight said: “Today’s opening marks a huge commitment to reducing the impact of carbon emissions caused by construction and we’re proud to jointly recognise this with HS2 by unveiling the fittingly rebranded Class 66, ‘The Green Progressor’. HS2 Willesden’s logistics hub promises to support the growth of rail freight in the UK by removing one million HGVs from our capital’s roads alone. By increasing the amount of material transported by rail freight for the construction of HS2 in London, GBRf will continue to play a leading role in the delivery of Government’s net zero targets and the decarbonisation of transport.”

Nick Coles, Programme Manager, Network Rail, said: “We’ve been working with HS2 and its supply chain on their plans to move excavated materials by rail from the Willesden logistics hub. Timetable, operations and infrastructure preparations have long been in the making and it is a credit to all parties involved that freight services have started life so smoothly. Today, the UK railway network is supporting approximately 60 rail freight services a week for HS2 and we’ll continue to work closely with its industry partners to make as many carbon savings as possible.”

At an event to open the logistics hub, a Class 66 locomotive was revealed, number 66796, which has been rebranded by GB Railfreight with a HS2 design. The HS2 locomotive was named ‘The Green Progressor’ by 15 year old HS2 enthusiast, Jermaine from Leeds.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Metapack launches new shipping plans for retailers

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Metapack launches new shipping plans for retailers. Image: Unsplash
Metapack launches new shipping plans for retailers. Image: Unsplash
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Metapack, the global leader in ecommerce delivery technology, announced that it has launched new shipping plans for retailers around the world. From small and medium businesses to large global enterprises, the new transparent pricing models from Metapack have been launched to help retailers expand their business by providing quick and direct access to its Delivery Manager platform.

As the shift to ecommerce becomes more prevalent, it’s essential for all retailers to have access to the right scalable shipping technology and infrastructure to meet the growing delivery experience demands from consumers. Recent research highlights that 86% of consumers plan to continue shopping more online after the pandemic, with 42% planning to make fewer trips to stores. Sitting alongside Metapack’s Enterprise plan, the new Essential and Professional shipping bundles are transparent and easy-to-use, providing retailers with the shipping tools needed to make order fulfillment effortless. In addition, Metapack also integrates seamlessly with ecommerce technologies, including warehouse management systems like Peoplevox and shopping cart platforms like Magento.

“We’ve created the new Essential and Professional shipping plans with small and medium businesses in mind. The retail ecosystem has rapidly evolved over the last 18 months, and businesses now need to ensure they have the capabilities to deliver easily and provide great delivery experiences to their consumers moving forward,” said Bruce Fair, CRO at Metapack. “Our new pricing plans are debunking the myth that you need to be huge corporation to access world-class shipping solutions. Access to our Delivery Manager platform isn’t expensive or complex, we’ve made it simple and easy for retailers of all shapes and sizes who are looking to grow their ecommerce business.”

Delivery Manager: Access to 400+ carriers and 4,900+ delivery service

Metapack’s Delivery Manager enables easy access to the world’s largest carrier network from a single integration, providing retailers with different delivery choices, while removing the need for costly multiple integrations. Using Delivery Manager, retailers are able leverage Metapack’s technology and intelligently select the right delivery service for each order, and quickly generate carrier compliant labels and customs documents for all shipments.

Ahead of an expected strong ecommerce peak season, it’s crucial that retailers can deliver on their promise to consumers, especially as research found that almost 40% of consumers said they would not return to a retailer following a bad delivery experience. By leveraging Metapack’s technology, retailers are not only able provide more delivery choice, but also retain and create new customers.

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Freight Forwarding

DSV inaugurates the largest integrated logistics centre in Africa

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DSV inaugurates the largest integrated logistics centre in Africa. Image: DSV
DSV inaugurates the largest integrated logistics centre in Africa. Image: DSV
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DSV inaugurates the new Gauteng HQ in South Africa, DSV Park Gauteng, which is Africa’s largest integrated logistics centre. With this centralised facility DSV will be able to provide more seamless service to customers which is an integral part of creating a strengthened and more efficient logistics network in South Africa.

DSV has consolidated its Gauteng operations in South Africa into a new, centralised facility which is the largest of its kind in Africa. It is situated near O.R. Tambo International Airport between Johannesburg and Pretoria and with easy access to the East and West Rand. The logistics centre consists of approx. 130,000 m2 of buildings and covers supply chain solutions from first to last mile controlled and managed under one roof, by DSV.

The investment in DSV Park Gauteng is a testament to DSV’s commitment to South Africa and to continuing to strengthen the logistics infrastructure in the country to the benefit of DSV customers and the South African society.

The new DSV logistics centre is officially being inaugurated at a virtual ceremony today, and the ceremony host and CEO of DSV Africa, Keith Pienaar, says:

“The inauguration of DSV Park Gauteng once again underlines DSV’s strong commitment to South Africa and our will to grow the business in the region. DSV Park Gauteng consolidates several smaller offices and warehouses around Johannesburg into one large, modern logistics centre.

The foundation of our values and culture is to promote an inclusive workforce and sustainable business practices. One consolidated facility will enhance collaboration and offer truly integrated supply chain solutions for our clients and customers.”

A large-scale and modern logistics facility

The sprawling complex houses a logistics warehouse of 79,000 m², a cross-dock facility of 41,000 m² and office space of 10,000 m². DSV’s divisions Air & Sea, Road, Solutions as well as the Shared Services function will be inhabiting the new logistics centre while other specific units such as Healthcare and parts of Mounties and Solutions will continue out of their current specialised facilities.

“With DSV Park Gauteng, DSV has developed a large-scale modern logistics centre which captures the essence of our consolidation strategy to create larger and more efficient facilities, enabling us to have many of our business units together under one single roof.”

“We have packed the new DSV facility with solutions such as an innovative sorter that can handle 12,000 packages every single hour. Throughout the whole building process, we have also utilised our global experience to construct buildings where sustainability and resource optimisation have been fundamental in all processes,” says Brian Almind Winther, EVP and Head of Group Property, DSV.

DSV Park Cape Town

To further improve the infrastructure nationally in South Africa, DSV is also building a consolidating logistics centre in the Western Cape called DSV Park Cape Town. This site will be located near the Cape Town International Airport, and close to the harbour and industrial and commercial hubs.

Building for the future

Innovation, sustainability and employee safety are key to the design of the buildings. The implementation of biometrics, solar power, translucent roof sheeting, recycling stations, LED motion lighting, boreholes and water filtration systems ensure that the facility is aligned to DSV’s global strategy of sustainable operations, reducing our impact on the environment.

Local community

DSV worked closely with contractors and the local community to ensure they were included in the development of DSV Park Gauteng. DSV has sourced vehicles and created opportunities for people from the local community to work on site.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

GEODIS Partners with AHS to Implement Exotec Robotic Solution

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GEODIS Partners with AHS to Implement Exotec Robotic Solution. Image: GEODIS
GEODIS Partners with AHS to Implement Exotec Robotic Solution. Image: GEODIS
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GEODIS announced the expansion of its eLogistics service in the U.S. to provide best-in-class e-Commerce fulfillment solutions for startups and growing e-Commerce retailers from four new strategic GEODIS eLogistics locations. GEODIS will partner with AHS to integrate the Exotec Skypod System into GEODIS’ state-of-the-art automated eLogistics facility that will go live in Nashville, Tenn., in Q1 of 2022. An agile and high-performing automated goods-to-person solution for the retail and e-Commerce industries, the Exotec Skypod System is the first of its kind to use mobile robots that can move in three dimensions and reach heights of 36 feet to enable efficient, high-density inventory storage.

“eLogistics is an important strategic initiative for our company, and collaborating with our long-term partners at AHS in new technology with Exotec will be winning formula for our exciting new product,” said Eric Douglas, Executive Vice President of Technology and Engineering at GEODIS in Americas. “By implementing the Exotec Skypod System into our GEODIS eLogistics site, we can enable an even faster shipping experience for our customers as e-Commerce continues to drive demand.”

Exotec has revolutionized the fulfillment industry in Europe and Japan and continues to grow its presence in the U.S. market with customers like Gap Inc., Ariat International and Comoto Holdings recently adopting the Skypod system. The Exotec Skypod uses laser scanner navigation and robust software to increase warehouse throughput by up to five times with a two-minute response time for all SKUs. The system is designed to improve working conditions and foster more sustainable warehouse productivity by reducing highly repetitive, physically intensive tasks like walking, lifting and bending.

“The hockey-stick growth of e-Commerce coupled with the growing importance of supply chain resilience continue to be a massive tailwind for scalable robotics solutions like Exotec,” said Romain Moulin, CEO of Exotec. “We are delighted to join forces with AHS and GEODIS to better serve the rapidly evolving needs of the North American market.”

“AHS has been working with GEODIS for several years and has formed a strategic partnership to provide ground-breaking solutions to assist the company with best-in-class offerings,” said Chuck Frank, President of AHS. “The AHS team is committed to being on the cutting edge of technology and expanding its market share by investing in the training, deployment and post go-live support of trending technologies. Exotec is a great strategic partner of AHS, and we are excited about yet another successful installation of an Exotec solution. AHS is thrilled to be a part of GEODIS’ eLogistics service, and we congratulate their team on their commitment to pushing technology to new levels.”

The leading integrator of the Exotec solution in North America, AHS will complete the installation of the system into GEODIS’ eLogistics facility with guidance from Exotec’s execution team. AHS and GEODIS collaborated on the design of the construction build for the GEODIS eLogistics site so it can be easily expanded, with plans to double its initial size in the future.

“As we continue to see a significant increase in direct-to-consumer e-Commerce brands today, GEODIS remains dedicated to providing cutting-edge technology solutions that will best meet our customers’ unique needs when it comes to enabling fast and flexible operations,” said Drew Bailey, Senior Director of Design Engineering at GEODIS in Americas. “The integration of the Exotec Skypod System will allow us to further optimize our e-Commerce fulfillment process on behalf of our customers thanks to its efficient, scalable and responsive goods-to-person technology.”

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