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New distribution method for frozen products is fast and 'green.' (Charterail, a new door-to-door distribution service)

New Distribution Method for Frozen Products is Fast and |Green'

Environmentally conscious manufacturers who supply large quantities of frozen foods to supermarkets and other retail outlets hundreds of miles from their production plants are the target of a new dedicated door-to-door distribution service that combines the |green' virtues of rail with the flexibility of road transport.

Called Charterail, this service makes use of the new generation of intermodal freight trailers that switch between road and rail quickly without requiring the handling equipment associated with conventional swap-body operations at rail-heads.

The company has been formed specifically to serve the needs of the fast-moving- consumer-goods trade. Although British Rail has a minority interest in the company's equity, it operates outside the railway culture; it is managed entirely by distribution professionals and has a totally market-led philosophy.

They offer their services as prime contractor, taking total responsibility for the distribution of goods from the factory right through to the retailer. The company arranges provision of the required rail facilities from British Rail, which acts as a sub-contractor. Road transport for collection and final delivery is provided by Charterail's own vehicles or through appropriate sub-contractors.

This service allows FMCG producers to exploit the natural advantages of rail for trunking operations, and to confine road transport to local collection and delivery functions, for which it is best suited. A network of railheads is currently being established throughout the UK. Moreover, with the opening of the Channel Tunnel, Charterail will give users immediate access to high speed rail freighting throughout the whole of Europe, with fast transfer available at both ends of the journey.

This type of fast-transfer intermodal freighting is expected to be of especial appeal to companies seeking ways to overcome the growing problems of road congestion, and to those that have a corporate commitment to environment-friendly operations.

PHOTO : A road trailer being reversed on to a |piggyback' rail wagon
COPYRIGHT 1991 Food Trade Press Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Date:Dec 1, 1991
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