Tesco and Direct Rail Services (DRS) have partnered on a new refrigerated rail freight service that will save 7.3 million road miles and nearly 9,000 tonnes of CO2e.
For the first time, Tesco will use refrigerated rail freight to transport chilled goods around the UK. The service, which will operate twice a day, every day from Tilbury to Coatbridge, will help remove 40 vehicles off the road for each journey – around 17,000 each year.
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. Our rail service will be an important part of our efforts to deliver a fantastic Christmas for our customers but the journey doesn’t stop here as we continue to increase the number of containers we transport by rail as part of our commitment to reach net-zero emissions in our operations by 2035.”
DRS’s Class 88 bi-mode electric locomotives, which can run on electricity and emit no exhaust or greenhouse gas emissions, will be used on the 415-mile line.
In the run-up to Christmas, Tesco will use refrigerated rail freight to transport hundreds of different items, mainly fresh produce that will travel with a far lower carbon footprint.
Chris Connelly, NTS Deputy CEO and Rail Director, said: “This is fantastic news, not only for DRS and Tesco but also for the environment. This is an example of how rail can play an integral part in the race to net zero. Each train will remove around 40 lorries from Britain’s roads and save 9,000 tonnes of CO2e, and we’re running two trains a day, seven days a week. We’re thrilled to be working with Tesco on this new service, helping them drive down their carbon footprint as they deliver for their customers throughout the UK.”