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PSA Italy and PSA BDP launch the first Sustainable Reefer Rail Service in Europe

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ITALY : PSA Italy, in coordination with PSA BDP, performed a first for PSA in Europe: Transporting a refrigerated container (reefer) by train! The new PORT+ solution runs on PSA Italy’s Southern Express rail service between Basel in Switzerland and the Port of Genoa in Italy. Through the modal shift from road to rail, Beneficial Cargo Owners (BCOs) can reduce their carbon footprint as the reefer rail service offers a sustainable way of cooling or freezing their products during transport between the Italian port and central Europe.

The inaugural service, launched on 26 September, delivered a container filled with a leading Italian multinational company’s temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products from Basel, Switzerland, to PSA Genova Pra’ in Italy. At the terminal, the cargo was transferred to the MSC Alma containership, which was bound for Savannah, Georgia in the United States.

Transporting reefers by rail can help BCOs significantly reduce their carbon emissions. According to a recent study by EcoTransIT World, an emission estimation models for rail freight transportation, companies that make the modal switch from road to rail using the Southern Express can achieve reductions in carbon emissions by up to 83% and energy consumption by 49%.

Instead of running on diesel, the reefers’ cooling mechanism is powered by a dynamo that converts energy generated by the train’s wheels when in motion. At the same time, the dynamo charges a battery pack that can keep the container at the correct temperature for a substantial length of time, even when the train is stationary.

PSA EuroMed & Americas’ Regional Chief Commercial Officer and Head of PORT+ Alessandro Cassinelli elaborated on the high potential of the new reefer rail service. He said, “Next to the pharmaceutical sector, this sustainable, reliable, cost-effective, and efficient rail service opens doors to other markets that rely on temperature-sensitive cargo transports from the Port of Genoa to central Europe. In addition, we have conducted comprehensive market studies to extend this rail service to other European countries. Our collaboration with PSA BDP is also a great asset, given their experience with managing complex supply chains.”

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