On January 17th, 2023, a new Freightliner service made its first journey travelling from Southampton to Crewe. For this journey, ONE purchased GD+ fuel to cover 100% of the fuel volume required. 

The train then continued its journey to Freightliner Coatbridge terminal, Scotland, using an electric locomotive, making this one of the greenest rail freight routes in UK Rail.

This innovative service is the first of its kind in the UK and demonstrates an ambitious environmental commitment by Freightliner, ONE and their customers.

GD+ is a type of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) and can be used as a diesel replacement. This drop-in fuel is made entirely from waste and residue oils and is defined as renewable, environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and sustainable. Its supply chain is traceable and independently verified, a prerequisite for both organisations.

GD+ generates significantly lower CO₂e emissions compared to diesel. Apart from the significant CO₂e savings, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (NOx), and methane (CH4) are also reduced.

The train’s CO2e emission savings during its 700 KM journey are approximately 80%, with 70% of emissions avoided utilising electricity and 92% reduced by running on GD+ when compared to diesel.   With only 38% of the UK’s rail network electrified, adopting alternative fuels could be a quick and effective transition to drastically reduce the country’s emissions.

“This is an exciting and significant step forward in delivering impactful environmental benefits for the UK rail freight industry, and we are delighted to be partnering with ONE to make this happen,” said Andrew Daly, Chief Commercial Officer for Freightliner.

“We are leading the UK rail freight industry when it comes to delivering decarbonisation benefits, and this initiative is further evidence of our commitment to a greener future for UK rail freight through committed customer partnerships. We will continue to invest and lead the way in this critical area of decarbonisation.”

Simon Parsons, Director of the Ocean Network Express UK Agency, comments:

“As a global carrier, we aim to be the link between customer and supplier to accelerate the transition towards a fully green supply chain. Our long-term relationship with Freightliner has enabled us to align our green ambitions and act swiftly to support the logistical needs of our customers between Scotland and Southampton. We are very hopeful to further expand our green network throughout the UK moving forward.”

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