Port of Gothenburg applies fossil-free combined transport scheme


The port of Gothenburg in Sweden innovates by making its land operations greener. The Swedish port has three rail connections with inland destinations that deploy 19 weekly trains. The port now complements rail freight by implementing fossil-free last mile transport by trucks to boost the green transition.

HVO100 is the name of the renewable fuel used by trucks in their last-mile operations. It is a fossil-free diesel substitute that can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent. Currently, it is considered among the most eco-efficient fuel choices in the market.

The fuel can power both small and large diesel engines without any need for adaptation. The raw material comprises residual and waste products treated with hydrogen to produce synthetic diesel. The port of Gothenburg has used it in its last-mile operations since 5 November.

Three combi-terminals

The port of Gothenburg currently has three stable shuttle connections with Eskilstuna, Hallsberg and Jönköping, which are three of the most important freight distribution hubs in Sweden. GDL Sjöcontainer runs 19 weekly trains between the port and the three terminals, carrying around 1,500 20-foot containers per week. However, last-mile distribution from the terminals to warehouses and logistic centres takes place by truck.

It’s a typical combined transport scheme that now enters a new stage of net-zero carbon emissions. “We operate fossil-free to the combi-terminals, achieving a last-mile transport carbon emission saving of around 90 per cent,” said Mikael Andersson, GDL Sjöcontainer AB chief executive. “The use of rail on the routes to and from Gothenburg, in combination with GDL’s fossil-free distribution, produces a saving of around 18,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually,” he added.

Increasing rail volumes through the port

Apart from Eskilstuna, Hallsberg and Jönköping, the Port of Gothenburg has more rail connections throughout Sweden. Specifically, the port’s rail network, named Railport Scandinavia, includes 30 more terminals at various locations in the Nordic country. These terminals see around 70 departures to and from the Port of Gothenburg each week.

Generally speaking, the port of Gothenburg is contributing to the development of Swedish rail freight. “From 2000, the proportion of containerised goods transported by rail to and from the port has risen from 20 to more than 60 per cent. This is very definitely a stand-out figure by international standards, and the trend will continue. During the third quarter of this year, rail volumes at the port increased by 12 per cent,” explained Claes Sundmark, vice president, sales and marketing, Gothenburg Port Authority.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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