The Co-operative Food is trialling the use of rail to carry produce between Daventry, close to its national distribution centre at Coventry, and a rail freight terminal at Mossend, near its depot at Cumbernauld, in Scotland.
Each train takes two containers, carrying the same volume that would normally require two HGVs to each make round trips of almost 650 miles – an annual saving of around 338,000 miles.
Containers are taken, each weekday afternoon, by road from Coventry to the rail freight terminal at Daventry. The daily train, operated by WH Malcolm, travels overnight, arriving at Mossend east of Glasgow in the early hours of the following morning.
From Mossend, the containers are taken by road the short distance to Cumbernauld, before, ultimately, the contents is delivered to Co-op food stores across Scotland.
Eventually, the switch from road to rail could save as many as eight lorries making return journeys each day, saving more than 1.3 million road miles each year.
Mark Leonard, regional head of logistics for The Co-operative Food Supply Chain Logistics, said: “We’re trialling this to see how effective it is. It’s still early days, but so far it’s going well. It has the potential to save significant amounts of carbon each year, while at the same time ensuring efficient deliveries to Scotland.”