Toyota Motor Europe starts transporting vehicles by cross-channel rail freight to reduce emissions

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Toyota Motor Europe (TME) has started transporting newly produced cars by cross-channel rail services between its Valenciennes Vehicle Logistics hub in France and Toton (UK). This launch signals the first phase of its Pan-European plan to move a larger share of vehicles by rail freight in line with its ambition to decarbonise its logistics operations.

TME together with its logistics partners, Getlink and CAT Group,  will initially transport around 70,000 cars per year equivalent to 270 trains per year. Corolla hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) produced at its plant in Derby will be freighted to its Valenciennes hub, and Yaris HEVs produced in France will be delivered to the UK.

This new international freight traffic is expected to deliver a CO2 reduction in excess of 10% for TME’s total logistic network and reduce delivery lead-times by around 50%. The initiative also positions Toyota as the only automotive manufacturer currently using the Channel Tunnel link for the transportation of new vehicles.

As part of TME’s goals to achieve Carbon Neutrality in Europe, Toyota plans to convert some of its main European logistics routes to rail by 2024. The second phase of TME’s “Rail Project” starts in April 2022, when its Valenciennes logistics hub will link up with the company’s plant in Kolin (Czech Republic), where it produces Yaris and the new Aygo Cross.  The pan-European rail network will expand with additional logistics routes to Italy, Spain and Turkey. Following the completion of this phase, the company anticipates it will save over 7M truck haulage kilometres per year, providing both emissions benefits and reducing road usage.

Commenting on the launch of the new freight route in Valenciennes on 24th February Jean-christophe DEVILLE, Head of Vehicle logistics at Toyota Motor Europe, said: “The start of this rail freight connection marks an important step as we look to progressively reduce carbon emissions over time, improving operations with innovative and sustainable solutions. We have an ambitious plan to expand our rail usage, and this will deliver additional customer benefits with improved delivery lead-times.”