Posted on:
28th May, 2024

Freeport partnership to forge green freight revolution

Freeport East and East Midlands Freeport are forging a new partnership to support a green freight corridor that will help decarbonise transport and drive enhanced skills and employment initiatives along the length of one of the UK’s most important transportation routes.

Building on the opportunities created by the Government’s recently published Freeports Delivery Roadmap, the initiative will support the decarbonisation of transport flows between the two Freeport locations. By working together, the Freeports will accelerate the technologies, business models, innovation and infrastructure needed to drive decarbonisation by utilising green hydrogen, electric charging systems and novel technology applications, such as digital twins.

Green Corridors are already an established part of the maritime decarbonisation sector. Delivering a green corridor initiative between the UK’s largest container port and the heart of the Midlands logistics Golden Triangle offers the opportunity to combine maritime and land transport decarbonisation initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of goods entering and leaving the UK.

Every day, over 5,000 trucks and daily freight trains leave the ports in the Freeport East area, of which the majority head towards the Midlands and onwards to other part of the UK. East Midlands Freeport, which is centred on the Golden Triangle for logistics, road, rail and the UK’s largest dedicated air cargo operation at East Midlands Airport, provides significant opportunities to drive clean fuel applications that will influence the whole of the UK.

Projects already underway that will support the corridor include development of green logistics infrastructure in Felixstowe, Stowmarket and East Midlands Gateway.  East Midlands Freeport is supporting the transition of the UK’s last coal fired power station at Ratcliffe on Soar to a clean energy production hub, while Freeport East is also developing a Green Hydrogen Hub that will support clean fuels for transport decarbonisation.

Tom Newman-Taylor, Chief Executive of East Midlands Freeport, said:

“This exciting initiative illustrates how Freeports can be forerunners in the decarbonisation of transport and industry. We’re looking forward to working with Freeport East and our partners to deliver greener freight along this important corridor. With large-scale clean energy investments we can drive demand and opportunities for greener logistics, using our central location to deliver widespread change.”

Will Morlidge, Chief Executive of D2N2 LEP and Co-Chair of East Midlands Hydrogen, said:

“I wholeheartedly support this commitment from East Midlands Freeport and Freeport East. Accelerating hydrogen freight decarbonisation is one of the seven priorities for East Midlands Hydrogen and this agreement will play a key role in achieving it. We’ll continue to work closely with East Midlands Freeport and our other East Midlands Hydrogen partners to drive this important priority forward.”

East Midlands Freeport offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to stimulate growth and investment at the heart of the UK. It offers strategic development land at three sites – East Midlands Airport and Gateway Industrial Cluster, East Midlands Intermodal Park and the Ratcliffe on Soar Power Station redevelopment site.

Its mission is to create tens of thousands of jobs, £9bn of growth and generate over £1bn in additional taxes which can be reinvested by the Freeport in the region.

Freeport East covers Britain’s busiest container port, two major ferry ports and is located close to the East Coast green energy cluster. Freeport East offers a unique combination of advantages to benefit traders, manufacturers and clean energy suppliers. It will create 13,500 new jobs and generate a Gross Value Added (GVA) of £5.5 billion over 10 years.