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Green Cargo and Schenker AS collaborate on a new environmentally smart solution for refrigerated goods

Press release   •   Nov 17, 2020 14:23 UTC

In a partnership between Schenker AS and Green Cargo, new refrigerated wagons are being tested for Schenker’s rail freight product North Rail Express (NRE) on the Oslo–Narvik route. The freight wagons, which acquire their power supply from the locomotive, create a unique solution that is entirely new in the market.

The new solution creates substantial opportunities to move the transportation of temperature-controlled goods off the roads and onto the railway, resulting in environmental benefits and a considerable reduction of carbon emissions. Transporting goods with rail rather than trucks reduces climate impact by just over 59,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. Furthermore, generating electricity from the locomotive rather than the diesel generator as used today creates additional carbon dioxide savings.

Shipping goods using these new electrified wagons does not only reduce carbon emissions. It also contributes to space-efficiency and safer roads. The solution would lead to 13,000 fewer trucks and trailers on the road network each year.

The tests, which are now underway, involve Green Cargo supplying Schenker’s trains with two electric powered wagons for one train set, and the tests will run until April 2021. The tests are evaluated in real time and, provided the wagon type works as expected, there will then be the option of additional wagons. If the tests are successful, we currently have the option of scaling up the number of consignments on short notice.

Wascosa’s wagon solution is a wagon adapted for intermodal set-ups with 20’, 40’ and 45’ containers as well as trailers. The technical solution entails connecting the wagons to the locomotive using a head-end power cable that converts the power supply to three-phase and 400 V.

“This is an extremely exciting and unique solution that would result in a considerable reduction of carbon emissions from Schenker’s consignments,” says Annette Bernström, Wagon Manager at Green Cargo. She continues: “We have made minor adjustments to the wagons so that they suit the consignments. The tests we are now conducting will also indicate whether further adjustments are required, or if anything else needs to be further developed.

Typically, diesel generators are used for the wagons that transport refrigerated goods. These diesel generators consume an average of 2.5 liters of diesel per hour. The running time for a single stretch between Oslo and Narvik is between 28 and 30 hours. For these shipments, the new solution with electric powered wagons would reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels by about 122 tonnes per year.

The wagons will continue to have diesel generators as back-up power supplies should unforeseen occurrences arise during transportation, and the combination of electricity and diesel enables more efficient loading at the sender and unloading at the recipient because the power supply is stable and does not cut out.

Just like Green Cargo, Schenker works to modernize and climate-neutralize its shipments in line with current technology. These refrigerated wagons are one solution expected to lead to improved environmental performance.

About DB Schenker:

With more than 76,900 people at over 2,100 locations in more than 130 countries, DB Schenker is one of the world’s leading global logistics providers. The company arranges transport by land, air and sea, and also offers comprehensive solutions for logistics and global supply chain management as a complete supplier.

Green Cargo is a sustainable logistics partner and crucial for Scandinavia’s trade and industry. Electric trains make up over 95 percent of our ton kilometrage, meaning the climate impact is next to zero. Every 24 hours, some 400 freight trains depart, replacing around 9,000 truckloads on the road network. We serve close to 300 locations in Sweden, Norway and Denmark through our network, and with our partners we reach all of Europe. Green Cargo is owned by the Swedish State. We transport 22 million tonnes of freight, have 1,800 employees and annual sales of about SEK 4.1 billion (2019).