Tesco and Direct Rail Services (DRS) are launching a new refrigerated rail freight service that the supermarket giant claims will take 40 lorries off the road for every journey the trains make.
The service marks the first time Tesco has used refrigerated rail freight in the UK and will be used to distribute chilled goods from Tilbury to Coatbridge by rail twice a day, every day.
The 415-mile route will use DRS’s Class 88 bi-mode electric locomotives which can run on electricity and produce zero exhaust and greenhouse gas emissions. It will take at least 17,000 containers off the road each year, saving Tesco 7.3 million road miles and nearly 9,000 tonnes of CO2e.
Jason Tarry, Tesco UK and ROI CEO, said: “We’ve been using rail to transport our goods since 2008 and this new service reflects our continuing commitment to rail which has clear advantages for our business, our customers and the planet.”
All-rail freight delivers 76% fewer CO2 emissions when compared to road; linking with other rail operations from across Europe at Tilbury Forth Ports ensures that fresh produce can travel with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.
Tesco is increasing its use of rail freight as part of its efforts to meet its commitment to net zero emissions in its own operations by 2035. Over the past year alone the supermarket has increased the number of containers with produce destined for stores transported by rail by nearly 50%.