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11 giugno 2017 - Venice played host to a landmark event in sustainable European food transport earlier this year, with the inaugural departure of a new train service from the pioneering ‘Fresh Food Corridors’ project. The train, which departed the port of the world famous lagoon city on the 11 May 2016, en route to Rotterdam, was part of a ‘Pilot Action’ to test a newly implemented, intermodal transport and logistics system for freight movement between the Eastern Mediterranean and Northern Europe.

The train’s 30 temperature-controlled reefer containers and their cargo of Israeli potatoes had arrived in Venice by ship earlier the same day and were quickly transferred from ship to rail following routine plant-protection controls and transit customs clearance procedures. From arrival in Venice to arrival in Rotterdam took just 32 hrs, contributing to an overall saving of over five travelling days for the entire route, when compared to standard shipping practices.

The ‘Pilot Action’ represents a significant landmark in fast transport services for agri-food products and brings closer the projects end goal - to be fully operating logistic corridors of refrigerated and frozen goods from the Eastern Mediterranean to three Southern European ports by 2018. Coordinators of the Fresh Food Corridors project, co-financed by the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme, have identified three main corridors between gateway ports in the south eastern Mediterranean, and the continental ports of Koper, Venice and Marseille. The corridors will enable the smart transportation of dry and reefer containers, with the route, temperature and cold chain constantly monitored using innovative remote control systems to provide for faster, more sustainable and economically efficient fresh food transport systems.

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