DP World Southampton hub has recorded a 66 per cent surge in freight moved from road to rail.

Under the Modal Shift Programme, initiated in September, freight moved by rail has leapt from 21 per cent to 35 per cent between last September and February, surpassing road freight.

The programme financially incentivises customers to opt for intermodal rail.

John Trenchard, vice president of UK commercial and supply chain at DP World, said: "We believe that our Modal Shift Programme at Southampton has allowed our customers to explore how rail can be effectively utilised to achieve lower carbon international supply chains serving the UK economy.

"At a time when the pressure to manage costs, maintain reliability and improve speed has never been greater, providing our customers with the right services and incentives to help them unlock better ways to move cargo is of paramount importance.

"We are continually engaging with the market to strengthen this service, so we look forward to providing our customers with new options to meet their decarbonisation goals."

DP World's expanded rail services, including four newly introduced trains connecting the terminal to Cardiff, East Midlands Gateway, Hams Hall, and Doncaster, have furthered this rise in rail freight.

By opting for rail over road, DP World’s clients and supply chain collaborators managed to save roughly 4,500 tonnes of additional carbon dioxide – equivalent to 13,500 lorry trips.

This surpasses the total emissions of DP World's Southampton operations.

On a financial front, customers are currently being offered an £80 incentive to shift import-laden containers by rail within 140 miles of the logistics centre.

This incentive, underwritten by a minimal charge on all import-filled containers, has successfully deterred freight from typically adopting road haulage within this range.

DP World operates in 78 countries and handles 10 per cent of worldwide trade.

Besides its UK hubs at Southampton and London Gateway, DP World's services incorporate logistics, forwarding and European transport capabilities, all of which are integrated into the company's global network.