For the first time, IKEA works with another transport buyer to deliver home-furnishing products without stops on one of the longest rail distances in Europe – around 2,000 km. Thereby IKEA strengthens its position as an intermodal transport buyer, decreases the use of fossil fuels, and lowers its carbon footprint.
IKEA does 2 million shipments a year and 4.3% of the total IKEA value chain climate footprint comes from product transport. One of the top priorities is to reduce carbon emissions from every product transport by an average of 70% by 2030 compared to 2017. A key initiative to live up to this goal is to shift transportation from road to intermodal*, i.e. rail, short sea, and barge, over longer distances.
Reducing truck transportation
In close collaboration with the transport service provider KLOG, the logistics service provider CFL multimodal, fashion retailer Inditex, and IKEA, an intermodal block train** that runs once per week on the Poland-Spain-Poland corridor was launched in October 2022. For IKEA, the estimated results of using the block train and intermodal solutions instead of road transportation are a reduction of 4,500 trucks and lowered CO2 emissions by 5,100 tons per year.
“Only by working together with our partners can we transform the transport industry and increase the intermodal share in the European railway network”, says Dariusz Mroczek, Category Area Transport Manager, IKEA Supply Chain Operations. “IKEA transports big volumes from Poland to Spain, and Inditex has big volumes going from Spain to Poland, consequently being able to fill the train in both directions is essential to reduce carbon emissions”.
A joint project to decarbonize transport
The trucks replaced with the block train are still needed for the shorter distances, from IKEA suppliers to the train terminal and from the train terminal to the IKEA stores or distribution centers in Spain. This opens new opportunities for truck drivers to experience improved work-life balance, reduced air pollution, and less traffic congestion.
“This joint project with IKEA is a good example of how we understand the commitment to reduce our environmental impact, boosting collaborative solutions with suitable partners to enhance the achieved scope. This specific development of inland logistics enables us to move towards our decarbonization goal while keeping the agility and flexibility that features our business model”, says Abel López Cernadas, Head of Import, Export, and Transport, Inditex.
*Intermodal means that the longest part of the transportation distance is done by rail, inland waterways, or shortsea and that the shorter distances – first and/or last transportation legs – are carried out by the road.
**A block train is a train that transports goods as one unit from the start destination to the end destination without stops.