Maersk launches rail service for Spanish reefer exports to UK

Madrid, Spain: Sealand – a subsidiary of Maersk – is launching a new rail service from Spain to the UK, designed for temperature-sensitive cargo such as fruit and vegetables.

The new transport option will initially have three weekly departures from the Valencia terminal to the Barking terminal in East London. The trains will also carry non-refrigerated cargo on their southbound journey from the UK back to Spain.

After successful trials in September with positive customer feedback, the regular departures will start at the end of October, just in time for the Spanish peak season for fruit and vegetable exports.

Over 90% of these exports are currently going North, resulting in up to 1,400 trucks daily crossing the northern Spanish border towards the main markets in the UK, France, Benelux, Germany and Scandinavia.

Diego Perdones Montero, area managing director France, Iberia and Maghreb, at A.P. Moller – Maersk, 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.”

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