JAN DE RIJK LOGISTICS, KLM CARGO EXPAND AIR FREIGHT INTERMODAL SERVICES
Jan de Rijk Logistics and KLM Cargo last Thursday launched OverNight Express, a rail service which transports fully palletized air freight by rail between Milan and Schiphol.
The service uses swapbbodies coupled with passenger trains, rather than freight trains, which routinely get lower priority on European railways. Cargo arriving in Milan in the late afternoon can be shipped to its destination at Schiphol within 20 hours, including the initial and final leg. The companies tested the service for six months before its formal launch.
The new rail service, coupled with existing trucking services “offer KLM Cargo a wide variety of transport options from Italy, at different speeds,” said Peter Visser, managing director, road feeder management, at KLM Cargo. “This perfectly suits our time differentiated product portfolio.”
Jan de Rijk Logistics and KLM Cargo said they pioneered the development of European intermodal air freight transportation in 1997. The initial service between Milan and Schiphol used postal wagons attached to freight trains, providing throughput time of about 30 hours.
The shift to swapbodies is ideal for palletized air freight because of their integrated hydraulic roller-bed system, and they can also be coupled to shuttle trains on other European railroads, the companies said.
Jan de Rijk Logistics will run several trials this year for an air freight shuttle between Benelux and Spain, and a service for the United Kingdom. The two companies also plan to explore expansion to other railroads in Germany, France and Sweden.