XPO trials industry-first multimodal solution with overnight linehaul rail transport of palletised freight

XPO, a leading provider of freight transportation services, has initiated another first with its three-month trial of an innovative multimodal solution that is unique in the UK. The company will migrate volumes destined for Scotland from its shared user pallet network to a new multimodal solution utilising overnight rail service for the linehaul portion. Malcolm Logistics provides the rail service through a key partnership agreement with XPO and accommodates loads of all sizes.

XPO first introduced a road-rail option in the UK in 2022, combining full truckload transport and daytime rail service for pipe manufacturer Wavin. The new solution’s combination of pallet network and overnight rail maintains the lead times required and is expected to be faster than traditional trucking at a comparable cost, with significantly less environmental impact. XPO customers in the Midlands who ship to Scotland can reduce the greenhouse gas emission of a pallet by up to 79%.

The current trial covers a distance of more than 500 kilometres from Crick to Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal in Northamptonshire, onward to Mossend Rail Terminal in Scotland, and then to XPO’s distribution hub in Motherwell. The multimodal transit time from Crick to Motherwell is about two hours less than the same journey by truck and avoids the risk of road delays, whilst also reducing road congestion. As each vehicle journey is about 600 miles, there is a savings of 705 kg of CO2 per trip.

Dan Myers, XPO’s Managing Director – UK & Ireland, explained: “The passion of our entire team is to challenge ourselves to be better, to support our customers and to realise improvements, which is hugely motivating. This single initiative will reduce emissions by almost 513,000 kilos of CO2 per annum for a customer whose shipments require two vehicle trips per day.”

XPO is a leading innovator of transport services in Europe, including technology-enabled truckload, less-than-truckload, truck brokerage, managed transport, last mile and freight forwarding. In addition, the company tailors its solutions to customer-specific needs across a range of consumer, trade and industrial sectors and world-class events.