Rail Freight Industry Award for Brett Aggregates and ABP at Ipswich Port

Brett Aggregates and Associated British Ports (ABP) have together won the prestigious Community and Environmental Responsibility category in this year’s Rail Freight Group (RFG) Awards. The two companies have worked together to increase aggregate movements by rail from the Port of Ipswich, developing a new weekly rail-based flow from the port to Watford in London which has enabled 100,000 tonnes of aggregate to be transported by rail in the 16 months between January 2016 and May 2017.


The new rail flow represents a significant benefit for the environment and community when compared with road transport. Each 1,100-tonne trainload removes nearly 40 lorry movements from the UK road system. Delivering this volume would have meant nearly 750,000 road miles, some 46,000 miles each month, or nearly twice the circumference of the earth. 


Rail Freight Group is the representative body for rail freight industry in the UK and the annual RFG Awards recognise outstanding contributions to its objective which is to increase the volume of goods moved by rail.


Brett Aggregates operates a terminal within the Port of Ipswich where marine-dredged aggregates arrive by ship from East Coast UK offshore sites. Material is stored and processed on site for delivery to customers by road, rail or sea. Between January 2016 and May 2017, Brett Aggregates landed over 485,000 tonnes of various aggregate and base construction materials for use in concrete production and other building activity from sustainable reserves around the UK, with no community impact in terms of noise, visual intrusion or road congestion.


“This level of benefit can only be achieved by the total integration of marine aggregate supply, port, storage, processing and terminal facilities and transport by rail to customers’ premises,” explains Brett Aggregates’ Eastern Area General Manager, Adam Smith. “By working closely with the team at ABP we have been able to create these significant improvements in supply chain logistics. We are very proud to receive this joint award in recognition of the teams’ efforts.”


“And from the customers’ perspective, the rail link has enabled aggregate, an essential element of concrete production to be obtained in an environmentally sustainable manner, so the benefits are passed on.”


According to Network Rail, rail freight typically produces 76% less CO2 per cargo tonne carried than road transport so with the added benefit of delivery from source by ship to Ipswich Wharf, the environmental credentials of this supply chain are significant.


“By working closely together with our customer, we have successfully won new business to rail and to the Port of Ipswich,” says Andy Constable, ABP Head of Operations at Ipswich. “This combination has enabled a lower CO2 supply chain to be established with the real benefit of reducing congestion on the UK road network.”


Rail-linked market access, where feasible, is a strategic objective for Brett Aggregates and the company operates rail links from its Cliffe site, on the Thames Estuary as well as at the Port of Ipswich. It is the ambition of both Brett Aggregates and ABP to develop the Ipswich facility further where rail can provide the strategic advantage. 

  • Ipswich Port Award 3
  • Ipswich Port Rail Award
  • Ipswich Port Award 2
  • Ipswich Port Award 4