DHL and Etihad Rail enter 20-year partnership on UAE rail

Image: Etihad Rail

DHL Global Forwarding and Etihad Rail have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture allowing the first to use the United Arab Emirates rail network for its operations. The deal will last for 20 years, and the two parties described it as a key partnership to help the rail sector in UAE grow.

Etihad Rail explained that within the agreement framework, DHL will adopt rail as one of its main transport modes to distribute cargo within the UAE and link critical industrial hubs. DHL responded that it is “excited to be part of this journey to support growing capacity requirements through rail freight” in the country.

Freight operations since February

UAE completed the construction and development of its railway network last February, and freight operations started immediately after the last track was laid. The new railway network stretches for roughly 900 kilometres across the country. Concerning rail freight, the network can count on 38 EMD SD70 locomotives and over 1,000 wagons.

Etihad Rail pointed out that these locomotives will be the most powerful freight train engines in the Middle East, with a power of 4,500 HP. Progress Rail, an American manufacturer, supplied the locomotives, while Chinese company China CNR supplied the wagons.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is the Chief Editor of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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