XPO, a leading provider of innovative and sustainable transport and logistics solutions, has begun shipping products for Baxter Healthcare from the Irish Rail Freight facility at Ballina, which is 40Km (25 miles) from its Castlebar site.

Containers holding lifesaving medical products are now being transported to destinations in mainland Europe, the Nordic countries and Turkey from the freight terminal. One of the key reasons for using rail freight is to reduce CO2 emissions for the business, which is also a primary driver for XPO as part of its commitment to improving the environment.

Glenn Carr, Iarnród Éireann’s (Irish Rail’s) Director of Commercial Business Units, said, “We warmly welcome Baxter Healthcare’s decision to begin moving containers with our Ballina to Waterford service, operated in partnership with XPO Logistics.  There is significant demand from industry for sustainable transport alternatives, and rail freight can deliver that alternative.”

“We know Baxter and others are ambitious to do more, which is why our Rail Freight 2040 Strategy envisages a five-fold increase in rail freight services.  We are working with industry, logistics companies, and Government agencies to develop the infrastructure and ensure the policy framework exists to meet this demand.  Baxter Healthcare is already examining the possibilities that the forthcoming rail link to Shannon Foynes Port, funded by the Department of Transport, will deliver, as are many other potential customers.”

James Jordan, head of planning and logistics at Baxter Healthcare, said: “Carbon Neutrality and reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions is a cornerstone of Baxter’s Global sustainability goals and a fundamental expectation of our global Customer base. A key step in achieving these goals is reducing our supply chain's environmental impact by improving how we transport our materials and finished products.

“This first rail freight shipment marks a key milestone in Baxter Castlebar & Swinford’s program to improve sustainability by reducing carbon emissions throughout our supply chain. It was made possible by a close partnership with Irish Rail, XPO Logistics and Brian Cunningham Transport to open the route for rail shipments from Ballina to Waterford port.”

The next evolution of the switch to rail freight for Baxter Healthcare in Castlebar is to connect to rail at Castlebar railway station next to the Castlebar site, which will transport more than 20 containers per day through the Western Rail Corridor, which connects Castlebar to the Waterford port.

Mr Jordan added: “The development of an Inland Rail Freight Hub at Castlebar and the reopening of the Western Rail Corridor are key infrastructure enablers to support this drive to sustainability and will be fully supported by Baxter and other local businesses in the area.”

Dan Myers, managing director – UK and Ireland, XPO Logistics, said: “Collaboration and cooperation are the keys to tackling the climate crisis. Challenging the status quo and ultimately doing things differently is the only way to make meaningful improvements in environmental performance. Working with the Baxter Healthcare team and our partners, we have built an integrated supply chain solution reducing emissions.”

XPO’s innovative service offerings include technology-enabled truckload, less-than-truckload, truck brokerage, managed transport, last mile, and freight forwarding. In addition, the company tailors its solutions to customer-specific needs across a range of consumer, trade, and industrial sectors and world-class events.