Information published on 20 June 2017 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 553.

Beer train keeps 5000 lorries off the road annually

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The pressure on our roads increases daily. This causes ever-longer traffic jams, increased mobility problems and negative environmental effects. But something can be done about it: for example by looking for sustainable alternatives for road transport. Certain road transports can be shifted to the railway or inland shipping. A possibility that becomes very concrete today through the realisation of the beer train: a train that will run three times a week between Jupille and Ninove. In time this will keep 5000 lorries off the road per year. Thanks to a unique collaboration between Delhaize, AB InBev, Lineas, Development Agency East Flanders and Remitrans, the first beer train arrived in Ninove today.

Every day AB InBev delivers Jupiler from the brewery in Jupille (near Liège) to the Delhaize warehouse in Ninove. The deliveries are made with lorries. With the support of the Province of East Flanders, a ‘beer train’ has been established that will take over this transport. The positive effect will mainly be felt on the Ring road around Brussels, where most of the transport took place. Fewer lorries on our roads also mean lower carbon emissions and fewer traffic jams. And that’s good for everyone. What’s unique about this project is the unnatural collaboration between partners from different sectors: AB InBev, Delhaize, Remitrans, Lineas, the Province of East Flanders and Development Agency East Flanders. The first test train arrived in Ninove today. Once the project is up to its full capacity, no less than 5000 lorries per year can be removed from the road. The aim is to use this pilot project to attract other partners.

The ambition is to make East Flanders climate healthy by 2050”, explains representative Versnick, “and to achieve that goal the Development Agency East Flanders wants to realise concrete projects. While developing our province into a top logistics region, we always look for smart logistical solutions. For example, we will reduce cargo transport via road by promoting the railway as an alternative. Rail transport emits eight times less carbon dioxide than road transport.

Delhaize came into the picture as a very enthusiastic partner. "The beer that we purchase from AB InBev is usually loaded onto lorries near Liège and brought to our distribution centre in Ninove via road. This adds up to a few thousand lorries per year”, says CEO Denis Knoops. “Sustainability is central at Delhaize and that’s why we always look for solutions to reduce the pressure on mobility, thereby contributing to a sustainable future. Road transport remains necessary in every distribution system, but Delhaize wants to look for sustainable modes of transport, such as the railway, inland shipping or other alternatives, whenever possible. I am very proud that we are able to keep thousands of lorries off the road every year via this unique collaboration. I also hope that this is only the beginning and that others will follow our lead”, says a proud CEO of Delhaize, Denis Knoops.

(Source: Lineas)