Ferrmed is a multi-sectoral, non-profit association formed in Brussels in 2004 with the main objective of promoting the Great Freight Railway Axis Scandinavia-Rhine-Rhone-Western Mediterranean, with special emphasis on the Mediterranean Corridor. The association is formed by both public and private entities, companies, chambers of commerce, port authorities and other institutions.
With the necessary macroeconomic studies already carried out and in Ferrmed's possession, the next step is to check the volume that one of the Mediterranean's most important sectors can generate, and to perform tests with a real convoy to provide with additional information about logistics and/or technical problems. The initiative will determine the needs of producers, distribution centres and clients of the agro-food sector.
The group aims to find the most optimal combinations between rail, road and maritime transport options to determine which provides better access to the markets. It is also expected to analyse improvement in the transport routes that give access to markets and production centres.
Ferrmed's general secretary, Joan Amorós, justifies having chosen for the agro-food sector "on grounds of the large volume of goods it generates. If we are successful with this test, we will carry out more with the petrochemical and automotive sectors."
Ferrmed has already checked the logistic potential of the horticultural production of the provinces of Alicante, Murcia, Almeria, Malaga and Granada. "Only from this area, close to 900 trucks leave on a daily basis," states Amorós, referring to a report from 2012.
Another objective is to survey the destination market so that the train can return as full as possible. According to data from Alfil Logistics, freight trains currently travel with an average of 43% of their capacity in use.