Logistics giant Stobart Group has set up a new rail service that it claims is the first low-carbon alternative for transporting fresh produce from Spain to England.

The new service, developed in conjunction with rail operator DB Schenker, is expected to cut annual C02 emissions by 8,625 tonnes. Running between Valencia and Dagenham, it represents the first refrigerated train service to operate through Eurotunnel. "For the first time, supermarkets and consumers have a quicker and much lower-carbon alternative to importing fresh fruit and veg from Spain by road," said Andrew Tinkler, CEO of Stobart Group.

Although the service comprises just one train per week at present, Stobart expected that when customers saw its benefits, there would be enough demand for a daily service. It is also looking at extending the route to its multi-modal terminal at Widnes.