Modal Shift Programme


A new Modal Shift Programme (MSP) will be trialled at our Southampton terminal to incentivise cargo owners to rail more containers and reduce their carbon emissions.

A financial incentive for imports routed by rail will be paid for by a relatively small charge on all import laden containers coming through our Southampton terminal.


Reaching net zero

The UK has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this, we actively need to start looking at more sustainable modes of transport.

With the potential to prevent an estimated 30,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted per year, the Modal Shift Programme enables cargo owners to accelerate their net zero ambitions.


The MSP Incentive will initially be set at £70 per applicable container for the period between 1st September 2023 and 31st December 2023. Starting from 1st January 2024, the Incentive was increased to £100 per applicable container. From 1st April 2024, the MSP Incentive will be reduced to £80.

Please note that the MSP Fee will remain unchanged at £10, which will be collected per Import Laden Container. Additionally, there will be no modifications to the MSP Incentive Zone, which is set at a 140-mile radius from DP World Southampton.

It's important to note that the MSP Incentive will be reviewed and revised on a quarterly basis from 1st January 2024 to accommodate any further changes in the rail share of import laden containers.




The MSP Incentive Zone is approximately 140 miles from Southampton, which includes the intermodal railheads at:                   

 - Avonmouth 

 - Birmingham Hams Hall  

 - Birmingham (BIFT) Birch Coppice  

 - Birmingham Landor Street  

 - East Midlands Gateway 

 - Bristol  

 - Cardiff  

 - Daventry  

 - Northampton 

 - London Gateway

 - Portbury



To find out how to book your container for rail, please see our dedicated rail bookings page to review your options.

Rail bookings can be made via:

  • Rail freight operators
  • Shipping lines
  • Freight forwarders



Find out more about our trial Modal Shift Programme to incentivise cargo owners to rail more boxes and help them reach their net zero ambitions.

For further information, please contact: