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Robert.Jervis_43227 Feb 25

Getlink and CAT Group boost cross-Channel rail freight on the behalf of Toyota

toyota cat eurotunnel db cargo stva
“The Channel Tunnel is a truly vital link in an international supply chain”
Getlink and CAT Group have announced the launch of a new cross-Channel rail freight service transporting Toyota vehicles, for a period of 6 years, between Toton (UK) and Kolin (CZ) via Onnaing (FR).

This new traffic alone represents growth of +15% in annual cross-Channel freight on a like-for-like basis, compared to 2021.

It will significantly reduce CO2 emissions by promoting the modal shift of more than 8,500 trucks to rail per year, thus avoiding the emission of more than 8,000 tonnes of CO2.

The CAT Group, a European leader in vehicle logistics, will transport, on behalf of Toyota, up to 70,000 cars per year, with 6 weekly departures i.e. 270 trains between the factories in Derby and Valenciennes. Eurotunnel, an expert in strategic border management, will ensure these vehicles cross to the standards expected by Toyota. The rail haulage is being provided by DB Cargo

This decision is part of the modal shift dynamic advocated by both the British and French governments and is the perfect illustration of the growing demand from manufacturers for solutions to decarbonise their supply chains and reduce their carbon footprint through concrete actions.

Yann Leriche, CEO of Getlink, said:

"We are delighted with the launch of this new service, which demonstrates once again that the Channel Tunnel is a truly vital link in an international supply chain which is moving towards reducing its carbon footprint.”

Alejandro Forbes, CEO of CAT Group, added:

“The establishment of this innovative new rail flow reaffirms CAT Group's commitment to low-carbon logistics solutions, with a sustainable solution that will allow growth of the flow between the United Kingdom and the European continent via the Channel Tunnel. This new service confirms the CAT Group's objective of building clean and sustainable growth for all.”

Jean-Christophe Deville, Toyota Motor Europe Vehicle Logistics Director, said:

“The start of this rail freight link marks an important milestone for Toyota as we seek to gradually reduce carbon emissions over time by improving operations with innovative and durable solutions. We have an ambitious plan to expand our use of rail freight, which will bring additional benefits to our customers with reduced delivery times.”

The new service follows the construction of a new, £2.6 million automotive transfer facility at DB Cargo UK’s strategic site in the East Midlands and £3 million investment by Groupe CAT in its specialist wagon fleet.
Following a series of successful trial runs, fully loaded trains carrying approximately 260 vehicles are now operating twice a week between the two locations – a movement which used to take five days by road now takes just 24 hours by train and reduces carbon emissions by 2,300 tonnes every year.
On the outbound journey, the new generation of hybrid Corollas manufactured at Toyota’s Derby plant are being exported to France. Toyota Aygo, Yaris and the new Yaris+ vehicles are being imported on the return leg, to ensure full utilisation of the new services.
DB Cargo UK’s Chief Sales Officer Roger Neary said the commencement of the services was a significant milestone after months of collaboration and construction by all parties involved.
“Freight belongs on rail and this is a really exciting collaboration between DB Cargo UK, Groupe CAT & Toyota. It’s a win-win-win for all those involved and will see us deliver an efficient and environmentally-friendly rail logistics solution for one of the world’s biggest automotive manufacturers.
“Not only that, it has also seen us breathe new life back into a previously disused area of our strategic Toton site.”
Steve Reynolds, Managing Director of Groupe CAT’s subsidiary STVA UK, said:

“This project is the culmination of four years’ work from conception through to implementation. It is a very exciting project for Groupe CAT, requiring resources from road, rail and terminals both here in the UK and in Europe too. To facilitate the project, we have signed a long-term lease with DB Cargo UK for the Toton rail terminal and have invested more than £3 million to refurbish our wagons.”
Roger Neary said:

“Each train will carry the equivalent load of around 29 road transporters. The rail solution will not only reduce congestion on the UK’s Road network but will also generate significantly less CO2 emissions than if they were taken by road.”
Steve Reynolds added:

“We have taken the opportunity to redesign key aspects of the wagons to ensure they could deliver the next generation of cars and match Toyota’s quality expectations. Without this investment and innovation, it would not have been possible to deliver the targeted environmental and lead-time benefits. We should also recognise publicly the excellent support and contribution to this project from Eurotunnel, Border Force and the DFT, who have all really worked hard to make this project happen”