Maersk launches new Spain-UK rail freight service for transport of fresh produce

Sealand, a subsidiary of Maersk specialising in Intra-European logistics, has announced the launch of a new rail product from Spain to UK especially designed for temperature sensitive cargo like fruits and vegetables.

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The company says the new transport option is tailored for fresh produce, has flexible capacity and will initially have three weekly departures from Valencia terminal to Barking terminal in East London.

The trains will carry also non-refrigerated cargo on their southbound journey from UK back to Spain.

The launch follows successful trials last month. According to Maersk, the regular departures will start end of October.

Commenting on the announcement, Diego Perdones Montero, Area Managing Director France, Iberia and Maghreb, said:

“Our new product solves several challenges that our reefer customers in Spain are faced with when exporting: Firstly, many large retailers want to reduce the carbon footprint of the products they sell. Secondly, we have a prevailing shortage of truck drivers, which means that currently cross-border road transport is often limited and unreliable. Thirdly, capacity and quality of the major roads are limited which leads to congestion. Our rail transport makes Spanish exporters independent from the driver shortage as well as road bottlenecks, and offers more than 90% lower CO2 emissions than a truck on the road.”

Montero added that other services could be added in the future, including integrated ocean and rail solutions:

“Big customers – importers, growers and retailers alike – are operating with both, ocean and land-based cargo flows. By offering them our reliable landside distribution network via rail we will help to create faster, greener and more efficient routes regardless of the origin and destination of the sensitive cargo.”