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Tesco expands use of rail freight to alleviate driver shortage difficulties

Besides using chilled containers to transport fruit and vegetables from Spain to the UK via rail, Tesco plans to expand its use of rail freight services to bring more goods into the country, CEO Ken Murphy has told Reuters.

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Tesco has already started using a chilled rail freight service to bring fruit and vegetables into the UK from Spain, helping to cut the number of lorries it has on roads and guarantee deliveries. Now, the company is planning to expand its use of rail freight services to bring in more and different kinds of goods.

The supermarket intends to increase to the amount of containers that are transported by rail from 65,000 to 90,000 by November or December to make sure the stores’ shelves are fully stocked.

“We’re one of the few if not the only grocery retailer in the UK that uses rail extensively. That helped us during the HGV challenges we’ve had during the summer” – Murphy explained it to Reuters. – “To put it into context, by shipping 65,000 by rail, we save about 22 million road miles a year.”

Tesco’s net-zero commitment

Tesco also announced its net-zero commitment earlier this week; the company’s target is to become emission-free across its value chain by 2050, including those generated by the products it sells and across its supply chains. The new commitment comes as the retailer also announces a new group-wide net-zero target of 2035 for its own operations.

Emissions from Tesco’s products and supply chain make up more than 90% of the retailer’s total emissions footprint.