Sealand, Maersk’s intra-European logistics expert subsidiary, is launching a rail service from Spain to UK to ease supply chain bottlenecks.
The transport option is especially designed for temperature sensitive cargo like fruits and vegetables; the trains will also carry non-refrigerated cargo on their southbound journey from UK back to Spain.
The service will initially have three weekly departures from Valencia terminal to the Barking terminal in East London. Regular departures will start from the end of October.
“Our new product solves several challenges that our reefer customers in Spain are faced with when exporting,” said Diego Perdones Montero, Area Managing Director France, Iberia and Maghreb.
“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 per cent lower CO2 emissions than a truck on the road.”
Over 90 per cent of exports are going North resulting in up to 1,400 trucks daily crossing the northern Spanish border towards the main markets in UK, France, Benelux, Germany, and Scandinavia, according to Maersk.
Montero added that more destinations could follow in a bid to offer a more reliable landside distribution network via and help create faster, greener, and more efficient routes.
The Danish giant will also boost its supply chains with additional logistics services, ranging from customs brokerage or cold storage to Captain Peter – a technology ensuring full data transparency about cargo conditions.
The first lease comprises a 15-year lease for a new warehouse in Doncaster with multimodal connections – including road, rail, and air.