A net zero approach to logistics

12 March 2024

The UKs largest logistics site, the West Midlands Interchange (WMI), is currently under construction but will, once operational, reduce HGV travel on the national road network by around 50 million km each year, making a direct contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with transport. This positive change in transport logistics, that WMI delivers, will reduce particulate emissions by 90% and remove over 1 million tonnes of carbon output annually.

WMI is encouraging the shift of goods from road to rail and delivers to the UK Government’s policy for establishing a national network of Strategic Rail Freight Interchanges (SRFI) that will reduce carbon emissions and ease congestion, both locally and nationally, and support the government’s net zero target for the rail and freight logistics sector by 2050.

Located in South Staffordshire, WMI spans 734 acres west of M6 J12 and incorporates a SRFI to create an intermodal logistics hub, while offering 8 million square foot of warehousing space that is comparable to over 100 football pitches in size.

Linked directly to the West Coast Main Line, one of the UK’s principal rail freight routes, WMI’s fast, reliable transport links will also help the businesses in the West Midlands, the Black Country, Staffordshire, Birmingham, the northern M6 corridor and parts of Warwickshire compete in national and international business markets.

With HGV’s being a major cause of air pollution and rail freight producing almost 70% less carbon dioxide, more sites like WMI are needed to create a shift towards a UK wide net zero goal. Guy Bates, from GBRTT comments that a scheme like WMI “promotes modal shift and traffic off road and onto rail, and that cannot happen without this kind of facility”.

In 2018/19, rail freight contributed £2.45bn to the UK ​economy, but only accounts for 5% of total freight transport, ​indicating that there is huge scope for additional implementation. Chris White, Asset Manager responsible for WMI shares his thoughts; “This project has the ability to deliver a lasting green legacy, and I’m really proud to be part of that from the offset”.