Maritime Transport has inked an exclusive deal with Tritax Symmetry to develop, lease, and operate its planned £750m Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI) at Hinckley National Rail Freight Interchange (HNRFI).

The deal comes just one month after Maritime revealed it had won a major contract with real estate developers Oxford Properties Group and Logistics Capital Partners to become the long-term operator of the West Midlands Interchange’s strategic rail freight interchange (SRFI) on the West Coast Mainline.

Under this latest partnership Maritime Transport, which specialises in road and rail logistics, will develop a 40-acre SRFI, which will be capable of handling 16 trains per day when fully operational.

At full capacity, the SRFI will remove more than 83 million HGV miles from the UK road network. The significant volume of goods switched from road to rail could save around 70,120 tonnes of CO2 each year.

The new terminal, which will sit alongside 7 million sq ft of prime warehouse facilities, will strengthen rail freight connections between the Midlands and the major ports of Felixstowe, Liverpool, London Gateway, Southampton, Teesport and Mossend, serving Scotland. Maritime Transport’s headquarters are located at Felixstowe.

The scheme remains dependent on the Secretary of State for Transport’s approval of a Development Consent Order; the outcome is due in September 2024.

Jonathan Wallis, director at  developer Tritax Symmetry, commented: ”Maritime Transport’s commitment to an SRFI at this early stage is a significant first in the sector and reflects ultimate confidence in the location’s suitability for rail freight from the leading road and rail freight location provider in the UK.

”Alongside Maritime Transport’s fully fledged support, we are excited by the potential of this prime location for rail-linked logistics, which we believe will see strong demand for large scale, flexible, modern, low carbon space.”

John Williams, Maritime Transport executive chairman, said: ”We are delighted to agree terms with Tritax Symmetry to become the long-term operator of the new SRFI, in planning, at HNRFI.

“This development will strengthen our rail-connected network and our strategy of decarbonising the full load supply chain in the UK, moving cargo closer to the end user by rail.

“Our strategy of decarbonising the supply chain will extend to the introduction of Battery Electric Vehicles to perform first and final mile transport, creating the most sustainable full load networked, intermodal logistics offering for occupiers at HNRFI and beyond.”

Maritime Transport operates over 40 logistics sites across the UK and has invested significantly in its intermodal offering, with Hinckley adding to its portfolio of open-access, multi-user UK rail terminals, including locations at Birmingham, Hams Hall, Kegworth, Manchester, Mossend, Northampton, London (Tilbury) and Wakefield.

Maggie Simpson, Rail Freight Group director general, added: ”The development of a national network of strategic rail freight interchanges is paramount to ensuring the long-term future viability of the UK government’s target to enhance modal shift of freight from road to rail.

“We are encouraged by Tritax and Maritime’s commitment to rail freight, and this display of support for the UK’s latest SRFI before the DCO decision is determined is extremely welcome for advancement of sustainable, rail-based logistics.”