Tesco is considering switching food and non-food deliveries in Scotland from road to rail - in a move that could signal a major shift by the multiples away from road haulage.

In an interview with The Grocer, IT and logistics director Philip Clarke confirmed it was undertaking two rail freight trials of non-food, one between Fastway, its non-food RDC next to Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal, and the other between the docks and Daventry.

If the trials are successful, Tesco could extend its use of rail in Scotland to food as well as non-food as early as next year. A spokeswoman added: “We may also test composite deliveries between Livingstone and Inverness by rail.”

The move is understood to have been prompted by fears about the rising cost of haulage.

In 2005, the European Working Time directive comes into force and in 2006, a levy will be imposed on all HGVs on the basis of road usage.

>>p40 Philip Clarke