The new rail depot aligns with the company’s efforts to enhance the sustainability of its operation as part of its ‘Future in Action – Committed to Net Zero CO2’ strategy.
Following significant investment and the completion of major infrastructure works, the new depot, which is in Small Heath, has welcomed its first train and, moving forward, will receive aggregates from CEMEX’s Dove Holes Quarry in Derbyshire. From there, the material will be transported out to construction projects in the Birmingham market.
Dave Hart, supply chain director for the UK and France, said: “As the UK’s second-largest city, Birmingham plays an important role in our strategy to focus on metro markets and the opening of this depot will allow us to increase volume and service provision – we are anticipating four trains per week will pass through this depot.
“However, the opening of the Small Heath rail depot will not just allow us to further grow our business; it also offers considerable sustainability benefits as it will enable us to maximise the use of rail as a more efficient means of transport for our products. Potentially, this depot could mean 17,000 fewer trucks on the road each year, with an approximate annual CO₂ saving of 2,200 tonnes.”
CEMEX has partnered with GB Railfreight and leading aggregates distributor GRS to ensure a smooth operation and service at its Small Heath depot.
Liam Day, commercial director of GB Railfreight, said: “With the global climate change conference currently underway, CEMEX’s investment in its new depot demonstrates the key role rail freight is playing in reducing the impact of carbon emissions. This increase in capacity will enable us to operate more trains into Small Heath and will remove congestion from some of Birmingham’s busiest roads.”
Martin Reid, director of GRS Rail Services, said: “We’re delighted to be working with CEMEX to help to supply Birmingham’s construction industry with materials for redevelopment. The new facilities at Small Health support the use of rail freight to bring construction aggregates close to where they’re needed in the city whilst generating a fraction of the emissions of the equivalent road journeys.
CEMEX’s use of trains to move its building materials is growing year on year, with considerable efforts being made by the business to switch from road freight to rail and sea. In 2020, the increased use of rail transport saved 150,000 road movements and 17.5kt of CO₂ from being released into the air.
Also commenting on the new CEMEX rail depot at Small Heath, Birmingham, David Young, Network Rail's business development manager for Freight, added: "Network Rail's investment in the infrastructure was pivotal in supporting the delivery of CEMEX's new rail aggregate depot at Small Heath. We are proud to have worked with CEMEX to enable rail freight growth in this important sector, encourage modal shift from road to rail and support decarbonisation targets."