Pakistan Railways (PR) has launched the country’s first reefer freight train, aiming to provide economical and environment-friendly freight solutions.
The containerised refrigerated train, carrying 24 units – 40 feet reefers, departed from the dry port of Marine International Container Terminal, Prem Nagar (Lahore) and arrived at Wazir Mansion (Karachi) in December 2021, according to a statement issued on Monday.
“Marine Group of Companies in collaboration with PR achieved this milestone,” it said.
The new phase started with one train a week, with plans to operate 12 trains a month. Freight trains could minimise the delivery time and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the statement said.
“On an average, railroads are three to four times more fuel efficient than trucks,” it said, adding that using freight trains instead of trucks could slash greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75%.
The reefer block train system could generate billions of rupees in revenue for PR annually, “if the containerised freight trains are operated on schedule”.
This intermodal cold chain solution was enabled by Pakistan Railways Freight Transportation Company, which facilitates the rail infrastructure operated by Pakistan Intermodal Limited (PIL) and CMA CGM Pakistan.
“PIL, realising the potential for reefer containers, operated Pakistan’s first-ever reefer block train and transported the reefer box through PakGo trucking short-haul services to Karachi Port,” the statement said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2022.