Shipments by rail generate significantly lower carbon emissions than transport by
road. Besides the savings in time and cost this is the main reason why FMC
Logistics Transport transports as many goods as possible by train, and is
focusing more and more on combined transport (CT). Our distribution centers are
all connected directly to the rail network. With railway wagons carrying more
than one million metric tonnes – about half of all freight transported – and
covering more than 11.5 million kilometers, Migros is, by a large margin, the
number 1 retailer for transporting freight by rail, and the biggest customer of
SBB Cargo (Swiss Federal Railways). This close partnership with SBB was further
reinforced in 2015 by a new framework agreement for the next three years.
Where shipments cannot be transported by train because of constraints of infrastructure or time, FMC Logistics Transport has a powerful truck network, which continues to form the backbone of well-functioning logistics. Here too, as an environmentally responsible company, Migros prefers sustainable solutions. For example, since 2012 the external transport partners of FMC Logistics Transport only use vehicles that meet Euro 5 standard or higher. In addition, the drivers are trained in energy-saving driving, and are efficiently conducted through the ever denser traffic by CADIS, the Camion scheduling and information system. When it comes to route planning, FMC Logistics Transport uses an alternative approach that relies on the collective experience of ants. With a sure instinct and in the shortest possible time, ants will find the fastest way from a feeding site back to the nest. Intelligent software makes use of this ingenious "Ant logistics". It shortens the routes from the distribution centers to the stores by as much as 20 percent, thereby saving times, cost and CO2 emissions. In 2012, FMC Logistics Transport received the "Swiss Logistics Award" for this Approach, wich is the Oscar of the logistics industry and a year later achieved second place in the European Award for Logistics Excellence.
For international shipments of toys from China, textiles from India, fruit from South America or lamb from New Zealand, FMC LogisticsTransport continually monitors the emissions of the container ships used and prefers partners that offer greater energy savings. Our logistics specialists in the International division question conventional ideas and are constantly looking for more efficient and greener alternatives. One example of this is the routing of shipments from the far East through the Ligurian port of La Spezia instead of the traditional large transshipment ports in the North West of Europe. The halving of the distance saves seven to ten days of travel time, reducing energy consumption by 30% and carbon emissions by 16%. So it is only logical that Migros today imports 25% of containers via bella Italia.
Highly time-sensitive and perishable cargo such as tropical fruits, exotic plants and fish, will only reach Switzerland undamaged and on time if they are transported by air. Nonetheless FMC Logistics Transport is continuously trying to reduce the proportion of air freight. So for several years now, individual goods from the Far East have been shipped to Switzerland via the legendary route of the Trans-Siberian Railway. The train covers the approximately 12,000 kilometers in 21 days – twice as fast as the container ship, half as expensive as air freight, and friendly on the environment.
On our website "Generation M" in the section Goods Transport & Logistics, we keep you up to date on all the current topics relating to sustainable goods transport by and for Migros.