Unique rail collaboration to secure Swedish food industry’s supply chain

April 9th 2020

Sweden’s largest grocery chain ICA will use the Volvo Group’s freight train to transport goods, organised by Scanlog.

Normally, south-bound trains operated by Green Cargo transport Volvo’s freight from Sweden to the factory in the Belgian city of Gent. For the last six years, the Swedish logistics company Scanlog has used north-bound trains to transport cargo such as food for ICA, however, the train has not run since Volvo’s truck factory in Gent closed. ICA and Volvo, in a partnership with Scanlog and Green Cargo, will now put the train back into service even though there is currently no freight to ship south.

The collaboration, which starts during Easter week, means that two 19-wagon trains will ship the equivalent of 80 truckloads of goods from Gent to ICA’s warehouses each week. This reduces the risk of shortages related to the current uncertain conditions surrounding the spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe and potential driver shortages due to illness.

Green Cargo and Scanlog are the two logistics companies involved in the collaboration and managing the transportation.

“I’m proud of how quickly we could work together and find a solution to ensure that important goods reach their recipients both nationally and internationally, even in the era of Corona. Rail is a key societal function even in normal conditions, and the situation right now really highlights how important continued rail shipments are for all goods and industrial supply chains all over Europe,” says Ted Söderholm, CEO of Green Cargo.

“Sweden is relying on continued transportation from Europe. Reduced export flows reduce the accessibility of truck capacity for north-bound freight. More and more ferries are being cancelled, which means that road freight needs to take land routes and pass through several borders. Being able to ensure the transportation of a large quantity of groceries by rail is both gratifying and rather important,” says Mattias Ljungberg, CEO of Scanlog.

Green Cargo (greencargo.com) is a sustainable logistics partner and crucial for Scandinavia’s trade and industry. Electric trains make up over 95 percent of our ton kilometrage, meaning the climate impact is next to zero. Every 24 hours, some 400 freight trains depart, replacing around 9,000 truckloads on the road network. We serve close to 300 locations in Sweden, Norway and Denmark through our network, and with our partners we reach all of Europe. Green Cargo is owned by the Swedish State. We transport 22 million tonnes of freight, have 1,700 employees and annual sales of about SEK 4.1 billion (2019).

Scandinavian Logistics Partners AB is a Swedish-owned logistics company specializing in international transport by rail, sea, road and air. We are passionate about Responsible Logistics – focused on cost-efficiency, reduced environmental impact and customer service beyond expectations. Scanlog has about 40 co-workers in four offices in Sweden, a turnover of approximately 400 MSEK and was appointed Gasell Company by Swedish daily Dagens Industri in 2017 and in 2018. Scanlog is accredited with the ISO quality- and environmental management standards.