Port of Nantes-St Nazaire offers ocean-rail service for granite shipments

After successful trials, the Port of Nantes-St Nazaire now offers a regular, weekly rail freight service to Lyon carrying Spanish-origin granite. The shipments arrive at the western France freight hub by ro-ro vessel from the Spanish port of Vigo in the Galicia region. Previously transported by road, these shipments are used in construction work on the forecourt at Part-Dieu railway station in France's third-biggest city.

A tender for the supply of building materials, launched by the Lyon Metropolitan Council, made low-carbon transport a key selection criterion. De Filippis, a company specialising in urban development work and, in particular, the use of natural stone, won the contract to import Spanish granite and opted for a modal shift from road to rail.

Facilitating flows to the US

It signed up Somaloir, a port handler, ro-ro logistics specialist, and agent of the Suardiaz Group maritime shipping group at Nantes-St Nazaire's Montoir Bretagne ro-ro terminal. Somaloir also organises door-to-door transport with various partners.

Traction is provided by Fret SNCF, its wagons transporting up to 80 tonnes a week from the port to the Lyon region. The solution allows CO2 emissions on the route to be divided by five. "This multi-modal offering demonstrates the potential for developing logistics solutions that combine short sea shipping services and bulk rail transport to reduce carbon footprints significantly," the Port Authority underlined.

It also makes it possible to generate return freight flows from shippers looking to export their goods to the Iberian peninsula and, in the near future, to the east coast of the US, it added. In 2025, Neoliner is scheduled to launch its sailing cargo ship - "a decarbonised global transport solution for users of Nantes Saint-Nazaire Port." Last year, 550 freight trains operated at the Port of Nantes-St Nazaire which has a network of 35 kilometers of rail track. Also read:

You just read one of our premium articles free of charge

Want full access?

Take advantage of our exclusive offer

See the offer[1]


  1. ^ See the offer (www.railfreight.com)