Container Depot Expansion, Cannock
Case study

Container Depot Expansion, Cannock

Pentalver Transport Limited are a leading provider of container logistics services in the UK offering storage, specialist haulage and cargo handling from five sites nationwide.

Transport Planning
Infrastructure Design
Environmental Assessment


Pentalver’s Depot Expansion Project

Pentalver’s Depot Expansion Project

We provided transport consultancy services at Pentalver’s Cannock depot to construct a new railhead to transport containers and expand capacity at the site.

The Cannock site provides a depot facility whereby containers are currently brought in by road from the ports of Felixstowe, Southampton, and London Gateway as well as by a combination of rail and road via Midlands rail terminals. From the Cannock depot, containers are then transported onwards to Midlands-based distribution centres.

The proposed railhead facility will allow for an expansion in this operation by increasing the number of containers being brought in from ports, meaning that some HGV road trips are no longer needed to serve the Cannock depot.

Transferring cargo from road to rail freight (modal shift) is generally acknowledged to produce wider environmental and social benefits.

The Challenge of the Cannock Site

This increase in capacity at the Cannock site will facilitate an uplift in the onwards transportation of containers to local Midlands distribution centres. In turn, this will result in an increase in short distance HGV trips on the local road network.

The challenge for us was to demonstrate how the operation of the proposed scheme would translate to a change in HGV activity on the Strategic Road Network (SRN) and in particular at the nearby Churchbridge Interchange, which Highways England have identified as a junction that is sensitive to changes in traffic levels.

How a Successful Outcome was Achieved

In the first instance the assessment required an understanding of existing operations and how this would change with the rail head in place, requiring close consultation with the client.  To explain this ‘before’ and ‘after’ logistics flow diagrams were included in the Transport Statement that supported the planning application (see opposite).

From this it was established that although there would be an increase in container carrying HGV traffic to local distribution centres, the introduction of a rail head at Cannock would mean that containers would no longer have to be brought in by HGV from other Midlands rail terminals.

The distribution of additional HGV movements between the Cannock depot and local distribution centres was based on Pentalver delivery schedule data and we used GIS mapping to plot distribution centre locations and delivery frequencies. Using this information, a traffic assignment profile of the net change in HGV activity was established upon which Highways England were able to determine that the SRN could accommodate the development scheme. 

In addition to a Transport Statement to support the planning application, Mayer Brown also prepared a Travel Plan and a Construction Vehicle Management Plan. The development was granted planning permission in March 2020.

For Further Details please contact Kevin Chaney,


Container Depot flow chart

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