A trial train has been operated by Freightliner to test the feasibility of moving products by rail to the Kraft Heinz distribution centre in Wigan.
The Liverpool-Humber Optimisation of Freight Transport (LHOFT) project is sponsored by Innovate UK and has been working with Kraft Heinz, the University of Hull and Oxford Rail Strategies, to develop a rail freight solution. The project brings together key stakeholders to establish an East-West freight corridor from Humber Port to Liverpool.
The test train operated overnight and the trail was deemed to be a success. Kraft Heinz will now consider whether to build on the trial movement of products from Elst in the Netherlands to the national distribution centre in Wigan.
Emma Dempsey, Chief Commercial Officer for G&W’s UK/Europe Region companies said “Freightliner is always at the forefront of developing innovative, bespoke solutions to allow more freight to be moved by rail and all the associated environmental benefits that brings. As the largest operator of carbon-neutral traction, we are continually developing solutions to deliver decarbonisation targets, working in collaboration with business partners and customers, and we were delighted to be part of the team to trial this potential modal shift to rail”.
Director of the University of Hull’s Logistics Institute, Amar Ramudhin, said: “The University of Hull is at the forefront of accelerating a net zero future. The collaborative transport modelling and optimisation platform developed by the University’s Logistics Institute is based on academic insight and has played a key role in the LHOFT project, enriching the analysis that is used to visualise, interpret and compare freight movement options. This allows objective evaluation of the freight movement options. For example, the Wigan rail route opens up new opportunities for goods owners and service providers to collaborate to develop new, lower carbon transport routes.”
Karla Jakeman Innovation Lead Connected Transport at Innovate UK said “This is a very positive development of the project. It is always exciting when projects can demonstrate innovation in practice. I am looking forward to watching how this develops in the future.”
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