Photo: Laurent Charlier

Nestlé Waters has been moving Perrier water by rail between its bottling plant in Vergèze and the port of Fos-sur-Mer since October 2018. Operating five times a week over a distance of 100 km, this service moves around 13 500 containers per year, eliminating 27 000 lorry movements.

FRANCE: Drinks specialist Nestlé Waters has decided to switch more of its bottled mineral water transport from road to rail. Announcing its ‘Glass Train’ project earlier this month, the company said that ‘from now on our Vittel and San Pellegrino branded bottled mineral water will be carried mainly by train’.

Intended as a step towards the company’s aim of becoming carbon neutral, the project means that Nestlé Waters will charter an additional 25 trains a year from its production plants to distribution centres across France.

Until now distribution companies have used road transport to ship full bottles from Nestlé production sites to bars, hotels and restaurants as well as to return empty bottles for refilling. The switch to rail will save 1 000 lorry and 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.

The first rail consignments of Vittel and San Pellegrino mineral water were carried in April to a logistics centre in western France. At the end of this year the company will start using trains to link its production sites with logistics platforms in Arles in southern France and at Merrey in the Haute-Marne area of northeastern France.

Logistics Director of Nestlé Waters France Sébastien Vincent said that ‘the Glass Train project strengthens our leadership in the sector’. Alexandre Varo, Director for Export Products affirmed that ‘we are committed with our customers to ship natural mineral water in the most ethical way possible in line with our determination to reach carbon neutrality [for the Vittel and San Pellegrino brands] by 2022’. The company envisages that all its brands of mineral water will be carbon neutral by 2025.