JF Hillebrand has launched a 'wine only' train service in the UK.

The logistics company said yesterday (17 March) that "The Wine Train", which runs between Tilbury and Daventry in the UK, will operate on a daily basis, carrying over 350,000 wine bottles per trip.

The launch involves a GBP1m (US$2m) investment on Hillebrand's part, in an attempt to address environmental issues associated with transport in the UK. The Tilbury to Daventry service is estimated to save an average of 326km per road-trip equivalent, equating to at least 1.7bn grams of CO2 savings per-year. The service is estimated to take 6,000 vehicles off the M25 and M1 motorways per year.

Among Hillebrand's clients set to use the train service is Foster's EMEA, the UK division of Foster's Group. Rob Hollis, Foster's director of regional supply and production, said: "Foster's is delighted to be supporting JF Hillebrand in this initiative. Along with measures we have already taken, such as the light weighting of glass bottles, the use of PET bottles and the transfer of packaging of some products to the local market, this represents another important development for Foster's."

Hillebrand also said that it has begun negotiations with a couple of major retailers who have expressed an interest in reloading containers with cargo emanating from the East Midlands area for delivery to the south-east. "The overall positive effect of these new shipping relationships will both benefit the environment and lead to further reductions in road congestion," the company said.