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Successful first trip for Tesco double-stacked rail freight container


Tesco last week took delivery of a new rail container which can carry double-stacked pallets, so increasing the volume of goods it can transport by rail.

The container uses a mechanism that raises the roof to allow maximum stacking before lowering it for transit. This makes it easier to carry up to double the volume of products compared to other container types.


Rail Delivery Group figures show that each freight train has the potential to take up to 76 heavy goods vehicles off the roads, and that transporting goods by rail produces less than a quarter of the emissions of a diesel road journey.


The first journey for the new container saw double-stacked Purina products taken by rail from Hams Hall Distribution Park in North Warwickshire to Tesco's Thurrock distribution centre.


The container was designed and built by partnered with Bootle Containers, Marine Container Test Services and Nestlé UK and Ireland, which had carried out trials in cooperation with Network Rail, Forth Ports, W H Malcolm Group and Direct Rail Services.


The companies have taken two years to develop the container, and now plan to refine it for future use as part of a greener distribution strategy.


At last year's National Rail Awards, Tesco, together with Direct Rail Services (DRS), won the prestigious Freight and Logistics Achievement of the Year award for their innovative refrigerated rail service.


Also last year, Nestlé announced that it planned increase rail freight capacity in order to help reduce environmental impact through a drive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and its reliance on diesel road freight.


Niall McCarthy, Rail Development and Delivery Manager, at Nestlé UK and Ireland, said: “This trial marks an important development in Nestlé's commitment to halve its emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.


This initial trial will help launch stronger supply chain resilience and reduce carbon emissions in the Nestlé UK and Ireland network. Furthermore, we are proud to deliver to Tesco on this trial, a customer of ours who has been on rail since 2008.”


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