Mercitalia Fast. Photo: Mercitalia

Rhenus jumps aboard Italian high-speed train for home delivery

Rhenus Logistics announced its first intermodal home delivery service between Northern Italy and Campania, in the Southwest on 29 May. For the train leg it will use the high-speed freight service Mercitalia Fast. Rhenus offers this service under its umbrella of sustainable commitment, already using electric and methane-fuelled vehicles for home delivery in Italian cities.

The transport by rail initially takes place once per week. The high-speed overnight train takes three hours and a half, departing from Bologna at 3AM. The final delivery is ready to start at 8.30AM in Caserta, where the train terminates. Part of the goods is carried to Calabria, further south, the following day for another delivery service.

Roll containers

The train has 64 roll containers, with a total capacity of 220 kg each. The cargo includes all kind of goods, including non-perishable products. “The new service provided by Rhenus Logistics Italy has passed its initial test. Using the rail connection for the home delivery service highlights the adaptive approach of our company towards the needs of both the market and the protection of our planet”, said managing director David Guglielmo Tassone.

“Thanks to the increase of this intermodal express service, we are playing our part in the reduction of CO2 emissions”, Tassone added. Rhenus group is a logistics service provider with global business operation, offering sea and river shipping, as well as rail freight and lorry traffic. Its turnover totals 5.1 billion Euros.

High-speed freight train

The Mercitalia Fast was launched in November last year as the world’s first high-speed freight train. Traditionally, high-speed railway is dedicated to passenger services.However, express delivery of goods is increasingly in demand with the current e-commerce boom, Mercitalia argued. Mercitalia is the freight arm of Italian State Railways (FS). It plans to extend the service to Italian cities such as Turin, Novara, Milan, Brescia, Verona, Padua, Rome and Bari.

Currently, the train runs from Monday to Friday. This frequency is likely to be increased to two daily services in the near future, said Mercitalia. The current fleet would be extended with more wagons. Currently the fleet counts 12 coaches.

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Author: Jose Gutierrez

Jose Gutierrez is RailFreight's correspondent in Spain.

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