French port Marseille Fos has handled its second consignment under a European Union (EU) pilot project creating sea/rail logistics corridors to slash perishable goods transit times from the Mediterranean basin to central and northern Europe.
In the latest test of the Fresh Food Corridors scheme – co-financed under the EU’s Connecting Europe facility – a train arrived at Hamburg’s fruit and vegetables terminal on May 23 just 44 hours after leaving the Seayard container terminal at Fos 2XL. The Eurorail-operated train delivered 34 containers – all 40-foot reefer units – to complete the shipment from Haifa in Israel to Germany in less than eight days, which would be impossible by sea alone.
The containers had arrived at Fos on board Cosco’s Skyline. In April the pilot was launched with another Cosco vessel, Asiatic King, discharging 34 reefer boxes from Israeli port Ashdod for the 36-hour rail leg to Rotterdam, which was also operated by Eurorail. Forwarder Lvanto coordinated both Fos operations.
In addition to cutting transit times, the project aims to reduce transport costs, CO2 emissions and road congestion. The Marseille Fos port authority said the test runs confirmed the case for an innovative supply chain partnership offering a fast and reliable Mediterranean gateway to Europe-wide fresh food markets.
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