The collaborative partnership between leading UK rail freight provider, Freightliner and Trans Ocean, the bulk liquid division of specialist logistics provider to the beverage industry, JF Hillebrand, was recognised at this year’s Global Freight Awards (GFAs) which acknowledge the very best of the global freight and logistics industry.

Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee and Wyoming Inc. (G&W), and Trans Ocean were presented with the coveted Environmental Award for their joint bulk wine recycling initiative.

Since 2010, Freightliner and Trans Ocean have collaborated to facilitate the movement of goods via rail wherever possible.  As a result, more than 70% of the wine imported by Trans Ocean from countries such as South Africa, Chile, New Zealand, Australia and North and South America is railed inland by Freightliner for delivery to final destinations across the UK, removing around 4.8 million lorry miles from our roads annually.

“The environmental benefits of moving freight by rail are well known, cutting CO2 emissions by 76% per tonne, reducing air pollution and easing congestion on our busy roads, said Freightliner Commercial Director Joanne Turner.  “This, combined with our joint recycling initiative, puts Freightliner and Trans Ocean at the forefront of environmental innovation.”

Trans Ocean transports the wine in Flexitanks made from fully recyclable polyethylene material inside containers which are transported to all the major bottling plants across the UK every week.

The recycling operations at Freightliners’ Bristol and Garston terminals see 100% of the bulk wine Flexitanks recycled and 95% of the bulk heads which keep the Flexitanks in place in the containers, refurbished and reused. Wine residue is also captured, measured and recycled into the agricultural industry.

“We are committed to minimising the environmental impact of our Flexitanks at every stage of the product lifecycle – from the design and manufacture, through the transportation and then finally to recovery and recycling,” said Marc Graham, Branch Manager UK for Trans Ocean. “This initiative has enabled us to recycle 900 tonnes of plastic in the past year alone.”

In response to export demands, Freightliner is now fitting Flexitanks for other non-hazardous bulk liquids including beverages and edible and non-edible oils on behalf of Trans Ocean.