A new intermodal rail terminal is set to be built on Middlesbrough's Riverside Park estate to service growing levels of container freight coming up the River Tees.
Leading logistics and supply chain specialists AV Dawson has secured planning permission for the development with work planned to begin later this year.
Once completed, the £2.6m AV Dawson Tees Intermodal Terminal will have rail sidings capable of handling trains carrying up to 80 containers at any one time with 16,000 square metres of operational area and storage for up to 1,200 containers.
Companies using the intermodal terminal will benefit from a direct link to the East Coast Main Line as well as AV Dawson's freight facilities including its Ayrton Railhead, North Sea Supply Base and Dawsons wharf quays on the adjacent River Tees. In addition, the group has 200+ trailers in its road haulage fleet.
The container freight market is enjoying a resurgence after suffering during the economic downturn. Industry experts are predicting that the upturn will witness growth in global container traffic of 7.1% over the next five years.
AV Dawson is the only company in the Middlesbrough area other than PD Ports to be able to offer loaded lifts, a service that has already led the likes of Interbulk, Bulkhaul and UTT to sign deals to store containers at the River Tees site.
Gary Dawson, managing director of AV Dawson, said: "There has been a sustained push towards moving freight by containers for some time now because of the benefits it brings in terms of lower shipping costs and cuts to shipping time."
"From our perspective, our ability to move goods by road, rail and sea places AV Dawson in a prime position to handle container traffic. By making this significant investment in developing a dedicated intermodal terminal, we are further strengthening our ability to move goods swiftly and efficiently on behalf of our clients. We see this as a major growth area for AV Dawson."
The shift towards containerisation has been driven, in part, by the move to modern methods of manufacturing. Using boxes ensures that goods come packed, sealed and deliverable to much more accurate delivery times which supported the move to just-in-time manufacturing.