Tesco uses rail freight from China

Tesco has announced it is to transport goods from manufacturers in China by train to Europe.

In a blog published this week the supermarket giant stated, “The Trans-Siberian Railway is over 5,700 miles and crosses eight countries. The trip allows us to get our goods from producer to Tesco in 26 days. Rail is the second-most environmentally friendly way to transport goods behind sea freight. Rail transportation is also only 20% of what it would cost to transport by air. By using rail we’re reducing our carbon footprint. We’re also speeding up our delivery and reducing costs for the customer.”

Describing the route, that passes through five countries in Asia and Europe, the grocer said in its blog, “We don’t send anyone through high-risk areas but our freight does travel along lines which need armed guards to go with the cargo. The freight travels from China into Kazakhstan, across the Russian border to Moscow and through Europe via Belarus, Poland and Germany. Once the load hits Central Europe, it’s transferred from the train to a lorry and driven the rest of the way to the UK.”

All goods are tracked from China to Europe: “We’ve GPS trackers on the containers, which track their movement across the globe. We also monitor temperature, light and whether the cargo is opened.”

Tesco concluded, “The new route has opened several more options that will help us to import stock more efficiently. The most important thing is to make sure we have products on the shelves for our customers.”

China has opened several new overland routes to Europe over the years, partly state subsidised to give a cheaper option to air freight while a quicker option to sea. Tesco buying into this will be a significant win for the proponents of this mode of transport between manufacturing and consumer bases. å 
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