A rail link for fresh produce will start in November between Rotterdam and Valencia. In the initial phase, the existing link will operate twice a week between the rail terminals Almussafes (Valencia) and Cologne. In the next phase, a direct link using dedicated trains for fresh produce will operate five times a week between Valencia and the Rail Service Center (Rotterdam).
Cool Rail is intended for transporters of temperature-controlled goods, including fruit and vegetables, active on routes between Spain and North West Europe.
Albert Heijn, Bakker Barendrecht, Colruyt Group, Edeka Fruchtkontor Valencia, Euro Pool System, Plus Retail, Sligro, Smeding and Visbeen Transport.
The rail link is dedicated to satisfy the specific demands placed on fresh produce: fast, reliable and temperature-controlled.
Cool Rail offers a sustainable alternative to road transport and achieves a CO2 reduction of 70% to 90% on this route!
In addition, rail transport is as fast as road transport and ultimately results in cost savings of 20% to 30%.
A major driver behind this initiative is increasing the sustainability of transport between Spain and the Netherlands. The need to reduce road transport movements in the fresh food supply chain between South and North is growing. Spain is the major trading partner for North West Europe for imports of fresh produce such as oranges, tomatoes and cucumbers. This produce is now mainly transported by road.
Transfesa (part of DB-Schencker) will act as the operator of the rail link. The initial frequency will be two trains per week between the rail terminals Almussafes (Valencia) and Cologne. At a later stage, Transfesa will create a direct link using dedicated trains for fresh produce between Almussafes (Valencia) and the Rail Service Center (Rotterdam).