Monday, May 22, 2017

Intermodal Services Promoted by Truck Transporting Rail Freight Carrier

Drive to Sell Multimodal Routes and Cut Driver Accompanied Costs and Pollution
Shipping News Feature
EUROPE – During the past year we have reported several times on the agreements made between truck transporting rail specialist VIIA, and operations such as P&O Ferries, Ekol Logistics etc. and now the subsidiary brand for the SNCF Geodis ‘rail motorways’, which carry unaccompanied semi-trailers by train, is promoting two of its intermodal freight routes, including a service between Luxembourg and Perpignan. The company points out the advantages such ‘piggy back’ journeys can achieve in cutting costs and pollution set against traditionally shipped long road haulage transport.

VIIA claims that effective use of the system cuts the cost of long distance (over 900 kilometres) journeys by up to 15% set against driver accompanied journeys by reducing staffing requirements, cutting out road tolls and of course decreasing fuel use which saves money and reduces environmental impact. VIIA claims a current reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with road travel of up to 90%. It says such services account for a fall in carbon dioxide production of some 70,000 tonnes annually.

According to the French group, the creation of a pan European rail motorway network by 2020 would transfer hundreds of thousands of truck journeys from the motorways, with a potential saving of 450,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

VIIA is currently marketing not only the service, which it calls ‘Lorry Rail’ which transits between Le Boulou, on the French-Spanish border to Bettembourg in Luxembourg, but also the Alpine Rail Motorway (AFA), using which it joins Aiton (near Chambéry) in south eastern France and Orbassano (near Turin) passing under the Mountains.