At the Irish Exporters Association Western Council Roundtable Webinar, XPO Logistics outlined their progressive plans to create a new Ballina-Waterford rail freight service under contract with Irish Rail Freight Services. Its main client is Ballina Beverages, in which XPO has a long-standing business relationship, and the new ‘sustainable’ initiative will transport its soft drinks concentrate to markets worldwide. The multi-national producer continues its global eco-friendly logistics programme and sees rail freight as an eco-friendly option. Through XPO, the freight movement from Ballina to Waterford will then be transferred to Rotterdam Port by ferry and further multi-modal transport to world markets.
XPO has been working on the project with Irish Rail since arriving in Ireland. A successful initial test run was undertaken in March which carried through to the Dutch port and into Europe. Another trial is imminent but on this occasion, an inbound load will be included in the freight train route back into the West of Ireland. XPO estimates that by Quarter 4, 2020 the new service will be up and running, with additional volume generating ‘vibrant regular business on a regular basis’. The company is currently looking for potential customers in the West that are manufacturing and exporting/importing, which at present would have to use the Ballina Terminal for loading/unloading until additional collection points are created along the west-south railway.