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2 minute read - 13th October 2022

Coca-Cola bottler switches from road to rail

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), the largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola globally, is making the switch from road to rail to distribute its soft drinks between its manufacturing sites and third party warehouse locations across London and Yorkshire.

When running at full capacity, the change will see up to 18,000 loads of CCEP’s products – some 2.5 million cans and bottles – delivered by rail per day, reducing carbon emissions by nearly 50% compared to previous road operations.

The move represents a further step towards the company’s target of reducing carbon emissions across its value chain by 30% by 2030 and its overall ambition of reaching net zero by 2040.

Coca-Cola Europacific Partners is switching to rail to deliver its products to distribution facilities, removing a total of 15,000 lorry journeys per year / Picture: Maritime Transport

The bottler has made the transition in partnership with Maritime Transport, a provider of integrated road and rail solutions for UK businesses, and GB Railfreight. It represents Maritime’s first Domestic Distribution intermodal service, which will see the movement of 34’ x 45’  heavily modified containers by rail six days per week, with Maritime’s distribution fleet making final mile deliveries to CCEP’s sites.

The switch will save a total of almost 4 million road miles per year and remove a total of 15,000 lorry journeys from some of the UK’s busiest roads. When running at full capacity, 31% of CCEP’s total product volume destined for Yorkshire will now be distributed via rail.

Francisco Javier Sanchez Gandarias, vice president of customer service and supply chain at CCEP Great Britain, said: “As a business, we know that to reduce our overall carbon emissions, we need to work with our supply chain partners to continue making meaningful strides towards our business goals. The transition from road to rail forms an important part of our This is Forward sustainability strategy and our overall roadmap to net zero, and means we can continue to meet demand for our soft drinks in a way that is more beneficial to the environment.”

Alex Williams, managing director for distribution at Maritime Transport, added: “The launch of this dedicated service in partnership with CCEP underlines the flexibility and breadth of our business’ capabilities. Converting domestic cargo from road to rail is a key strategic development for us in our ambitions to reduce emissions and offer greater resource to our customers. Our advancements in the distribution and rail freight sectors have enabled us to provide a truly networked, end-to-end logistical product to our customers, whilst our commitment to developing innovative solutions that allow more freight to be moved by rail is a great fit for CCEP, and means we are well-positioned to support their journey towards a net zero future.”

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