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TX Logistik doubles number of round trips for Coop in Sweden

TX Logistik doubles number of round trips for Coop in Sweden, © TX Logistik Jens Albinus
© TX Logistik, Jens Albinus
Troisdorf, 20 April 2020 –

TX Logistik AG, a company specialized in Europe-wide transport services and part of the Italian railway group Polo Mercitalia (FS Italiane Group), has expanded its rail freight traffic in Sweden. As of 6 April, the number of trains between Bro (Stockholm) and Malmo for the Swedish retail chain Coop was increased from 10 to 20 per week. The connection is used to supply foodstuffs to the supermarkets in the south of the country.

TX Logistik (TXL) has been on the rails for Coop in Sweden since 2012. The retail chain has commissioned TXL to double the number of round trips. The start and destination is the central warehouse in Bro (about 30 kilometres north-west of Stockholm). On the way to Malmo, the trains make a stopover in Alvesta near Växjo. The higher frequency enables Coop to transfer 520 trucks from road to rail every week. This benefits both the environment and safety. By Coop transporting its goods by rail, the Swedish group says it saves up to 9,600 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year compared with road transport.

The expansion of TXL’s existing business in Sweden emphasizes the progressive implementation of the Mercitalia Group‘s European expansion strategy, in which TX Logistik plays a leading role. The transport solution developed for Coop demonstrates the level of efficiency and quality that the rail system has now achieved. Even for goods that were previously transported almost exclusively by road, a more extensive use of rail is now possible.

 

Source: Press release
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Eucofel and PROEXPORT call on European Commission to facilitate transport of fruit and vegetables by road

Eucofel and PROEXPORT call on European Commission to facilitate transport of fruit and vegetables by road

Coordination at the community level will make it possible to guarantee the return of trucks, necessary to meet the supply of perishables

 

The president of FruitVegetablesEUROPE (Eucofel), and of PROEXPORT (Association of Producers-Exporters of Fruit and Vegetables of the Region of Murcia), Juan Marín Bravo, has expressed his profound concern about the negative impact that the COVID-19 crisis is having on the road transport of perishable food, particularly on fresh fruits and vegetables.

In a letter sent to the EU on 19th March, Marín calls for the application of Article 14.2 of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 on driving times, breaks and rest periods for drivers engaged in the freight transport by road, in order to harmonise the conditions of competition between the modes of land transport.

This article states: “In urgent cases, Member States may grant a temporary exception for a period not exceeding 30 days, which shall be notified immediately to the Commission.” In this way, Member States can deal with situations that present exceptional and sudden circumstances that are inevitable and cannot be foreseen, in which it is unexpectedly impossible to apply the provisions of the Regulation in its entirety for a short period of time.

As Marín details in the letter sent to the European Commission, “the effects caused by the spread of Covid-19 constitute these exceptional circumstances, which are having an impact on mobility and transport in the EU.”

For this reason, the President of the Commission is requested to transfer measures contemplated in the resolution of March 16, 2020 from the Government of Spain to the EU as a whole, and provide the following:

  1. Temporarily exempt the operations of transport of goods affected by these circumstances of compliance with the rules established in articles 6.1 and 8.6 of Regulation No. 561/2006.
  2. The exceptions provided in the first section will apply to drivers who carry out cargo operations throughout the national territory (Spain). These exemptions will be applicable from March 14, 2020 to March 28, 2020, both included.

In this sense, FruitVegetablesEUROPE has requested that the EU and the Member States also apply Article 14.2, as the Spanish Government has done, and also take exceptional measures to ensure that perishable food continues to flow in the EU internal market, “as it is the only way to prevent a shortage of fresh food, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables in the EU.” Only with the coordination of these measures at the European level will it be possible to organise the vehicle returns necessary to guarantee circulation throughout the Community territory.

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CoolRail, the first European rail service for fresh produce

CoolRail, the first European rail service for fresh produce, Credit: Sandra Zeillstra (FLD)
Credit: Sandra Zeillstra (FLD)

 

 

CoolRail is Europe’s first rail connection for fresh produce, serving south and north-western Europe. The initiative, started by Euro Pool System in May 2019 to ensure greater efficiency and sustainability in the fresh supply chain, consists of a direct train link between the ports of Valencia and Rotterdam, with dedicated trains three times a week in both directions, as well as a connecting line with Barcelona. Key account manager, Miguel Ángel Hidalgo, said, “The project actually began in 2012, when the Dutch retailer Albert Hein sought an alternative to road transport and Euro Pool System decided it was a strategic necessity to be certified as ‘Lean and Green’ and reach its goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 20% by 2025.” In fact, CoolRail goes far beyond meeting these objectives. International Flows Manager, Fred Lessing, said, “We collaborated on this project with the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. While we believed the reduction of CO2 emissions would be of the order of 30-50%, the results of a study estimate that saving will instead be of between 70% and 90%, depending on content of truck or train.” 

This prime example of a circular economy provides added value for CoolRail’s customers, who, besides Albert Hein, already number Bakker, Bollo and Primaflor, with great interest shown across the continent, which can be served by connecting truck services. CoolRail currently rents over 100 diesel-electric reefers to maintain the cold chain. As one train is the equivalent of 42 trucks, CoolRail will replace 13,000 trucks per year, thereby removing 15,000 tons of C02 from the supply chain and saving the energy produced by six wind turbines in a year. It will also reduce traffic congestion on Europe’s busy road network. A successful pilot study was carried out in Germany in 2016. 

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Hamburg Süd: strong commitment to cargo quality

Cargo experts examine fruit quality after opening a test container equipped with the XtendFRESH system: Michaela Steineker, Thies Claussen & José Ortiz from Eurofins.

Hamburg Süd, a traditional North-South carrier, offers services in most of the world’s key reefer trades. With over 90 years of experience in the transportation of perishable cargo, Hamburg Süd ranks among the top five reefer container carriers worldwide. “We have grown close with the subject of refrigerated cargo in virtually all areas, especially in the Southern Hemisphere where we have our specialists,” says Michaela Steineker, head of Hamburg Süd’s Global Reefer Competence Team. “Where reefer containers are concerned, we transport about 98 per cent food.” Fresh and frozen products are transported, like fruit and vegetables, meat and fish. Bananas currently offer the greatest potential for growth as they are increasingly transported in containers instead of reefer vessels. Hamburg Süd has recently introduced a new service for banana transportation to Europe from Puerto Moin in Costa Rica instead of Cartagena, Colombia. The first port of call in Europe is the Spanish Marin followed by Antwerp, a traditional banana port.

Innovations maintaining quality

Innovations are important at Hamburg Süd, but always with a keen eye on product quality. “We are a high quality reefer carrier dedicated to the cargo. We want to follow new technologies for the best products, but we do not blindly adopt any new technology. We make sure there is extensive testing so no cargo problems arise,” says Michaela Steineker, who has a post-graduate degree in Food Chemistry. One of the projects in the testing phase is ‘Enhanced Reefer Monitoring’. This is a system that monitors the reefer container in real time via mobile data communication. At the same time, the container can be accessed when needed at any time to take corrective action in the box’s operations. Another new technology in co-development with the container manufacturer Carrier is XtendFRESH, a controlled atmosphere technology that is particularly suitable for avocados and bananas. The oxygen content in the container is reduced and the amount of CO2 increased. At the same time, the system removes ethylene, the ripening gas. The XtendFRESH system is a solution integrated into the cooling unit. Until now, so-called ethylene scrubbers were installed in the container. “They would only keep for one journey and then had to be renewed. That involves costs and is laborious in handling,” says Michaela Steineker.

This article originally appeared in the July-August 2015 edition, number 138, of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read it here: http://www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/138-2015-julaug