The new Reefer Xpress service will provide a fixed-day weekly frequency, upgrading to twice weekly in 2008. It offers a four-day door-to-door service to the UK market, and is targeted at the 60,000+ reefer truck market moving fresh produce by road from southern Spain to the UK every year.
The introduction of the service follows two years of extensive trials covering every category of fresh produce currently moving by road, and is part of a substantial investment by the company in response to strong support from the market. It will provide 45 ft reefer containers, which match the loading capacity of trailers, and according to MacAndrews, offers a cost-competitive, environmentally beneficial and reliable alternative to truck transportation.
At the Port of Bilbao, the Iberian hub, Abra Terminales Maritimas SA (ATM) has invested in a purpose-built cross-docking facility specifically for the new service, enabling produce to be transferred via the Bilbao cold store. The UK hub for the new service is the Port of Sheerness, the UK’s premier reefer port, which is well located to serve southern UK markets.