InterCity RailFreight (ICRF) has announced a major expansion of its same-day 125mph delivery network, responding to unprecedented growth in demand and securing an agreement from UK train operating companies to significantly expand capacity and reach.
ICRF now has access to over 100 daily rail services across the East Midlands, Great Western and CrossCountry franchise networks, providing fast and frequent services between city centers, across an area reaching from Aberdeen to London and Penzance – covering a number of traditionally difficult parts of the country for road-based couriers to reach.
InterCity’s door-to-door service seamlessly connects local couriers using electric vehicles and cargo bikes with a fleet of electric and diesel-electric high-speed trains – with some routes now offering a 100% electric supply chain. Shipments are tracked in real time from a central control tower with access to a suite of rail industry data feeds. The rail services average 70mph between city centers, with over 97% arriving within 15 minutes of schedule.
The company claims that services have been proved in the most demanding of operating conditions, carrying a wide range of goods, from life-saving medical samples and treatments, to fresh and live seafood. The innovation secured a national rail industry award in 2017 for the first-to-market service.
The integrated offer of fast and frequent rail services, combined with low-emission local couriers, can transform same-day and next-day fulfilment services, allowing for a rapid on-demand ‘click, pick, pack and ship’ model, replacing the current practice of ‘buffering’ shipments into larger overnight trunk loads and the struggle with meeting delivery schedules.
Speaking about the latest developments, ICRF founder and managing director Jeff Screeton said, “One of the few positive outcomes of the recent pandemic has been the opening up of the rail network for fast and frequent delivery services, with train operators now able to accept anything from single shipments up to entire lorry-loads. In our 10 years of operations we have never experienced traffic growth on this scale, and with the help of our train operator and courier partners, we are responding in kind to our expanding customer base.”