Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Freight Train Service Replaces Road Haulage and Short Sea Cargo Options

Successful Trial Leads to Regular Track Option
Shipping News Feature

UK – EUROPE – Glasgow based multimodal logistics provider John G Russell (Transport) is literally ‘in the van’ as regards the switch from road haulage and short sea to track borne freight having commenced its new cross-Channel links with France after a successful restricted capacity lasting some months. The company began operating trains between Barking and Dourges, near Lille, in early November, sending goods along HS1 and through the Channel Tunnel and is now operating a daily train Monday to Friday.

The service is operated by Eurotunnel's subsidiary Europorte supported by GB Railfreight and is Russell's first rail operation beyond the UK's borders and operating cross-Channel by track represents a significant investment for John G Russell, which will invest €654,445 (£520,000) over two years in 90ft wagons with modified couplings to meet the requirements of hauling a 1,600 tonne train on HS1. The company is working with AAE for the wagon supply.

One of the initial customer’s trialling the service has been 2XL, a Procter & Gamble (P&G) supplier and P&G’s Neill Porter commented:

"P&G are equally pleased with the smooth start-up of rail services, achieving new transit time for standard supply between France and UK. Rail is integral to P&G Sustainability ‘Fewer and Friendlier Miles’ strategy and shifting to intermodal transportation through collaborative network solutions."

John G Russell have been enthused by the success of the scheme so far with director Ken Russell observing:

"We are very pleased with how well this project has gone so far with the train operating at about 95% efficiency. Naturally, this is a new area for us and we have had to learn a lot and learn quickly, but the feedback has been great and we are confident that demand will continue to increase.

"Cross-Channel rail freight offers significant savings over maritime routes, as it cuts out much of the laborious ground-handling. It is also environmentally efficient too, which will appeal to transporters who are increasingly seeking an environmentally friendly alternative."