JF Hillebrand's UK rail service, which acts as "an eco-solution to the wine and spirit industry's delivery issues" has increased in capacity due to customer demand.

The logistics company said yesterday (1 May) that "The 'Wine Train' appears to have really struck a chord with importers eager to take action to reduce their carbon footprint".

The launch, which involved a GBP1m (US$2m) investment on Hillebrand's part, was 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 and currently already operates on a daily basis carrying over 350,000 wine bottles per trip.

JF Hillebrand joint managing director David Mawer said: "Since we launched the daily rail service from Tilbury to Daventry in March, we have been consistently running very close to capacity and with new customers coming on stream, we felt confident to increase our investment and add capacity to the train.

"The Wine Train's bulk transport solutions and JF Hillebrand's broad shipping relationships provide tangible, real and measurable benefits for the environment and lead to further reductions in road congestion."

Co-op recently switched its South African business to JF Hillebrand in order to reduce carbon emissions on deliveries, the company added.