Modal Shift Programme


The Modal Shift Programme (MSP) Trial was introduced on 1st September 2023 to help increase the financial attractiveness of rail for import laden containers, and has now been extended to the end of December 2025.

A financial incentive for imports routed by rail is paid for by a relatively small charge on all import laden containers coming through DP World Southampton.


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.


Modal Shift Programme Incentive

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

Due to the attractiveness of rail as a solution for customers at DP World Southampton and the success of moving containers from road to rail, the MSP Incentive will be adjusted to £50 per import laden container for the period 1st July 2024 to 30th September 2024.

The MSP Incentive will be reviewed and revised on a six-monthly basis rather than quarterly from 1st October 2024 to accommodate any further changes in the rail share of import laden containers. Please note that the MSP Fee will remain unchanged at £10, which will be collected per import laden container.




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:
[email protected]