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The information and data presented are derived from the presentation made to the Group Media Tour Logistics & Transport the 9/4/2012 at the ForaHolland of Bleiswijk (NL) by Michiel van Veen, Manager Logistics FloraHolland.


























FloraHolland : GreenRail Cargo, an initiative to bring on the train the floricultural and agricultural sector.




FloraHolland is a cooperative that coordinates the marketing of Dutch horticultural industry, an industry that in the Netherlands counts for 20% of sales income and is ranked first in the active balance of payments statistics (export for 6.5 billion EUR); along with the fruit and vegetable industry, it employs 250,000 employees FTE (full-time-equivalent).


Although production levels are very high in the Country, marketing of products imported and distributed to the whole of Europe has an important role, so much so that in the Netherlands, a nation of ports, these activities are identified as the "Greenport" and together they produce an added value of about 75% of that of the port of Rotterdam, over 300% from Schiphol Airport and 400% of the port of Amsterdam.


FloraHolland works in two main sectors: the daily organization of flower auctions and managing of most of the logistics for the deliveries.

Some numbers of FloraHolland:

4,900 associates in representation of 8,000 writers, Dutch and international

3,000 buyers, as wholesalers and exporters

4,400 employees in over 40 Countries

134 countries of destination of exports

4.1 billion euro turnover in 2010

11 billion cut flowers

1.3 billion seedlings

13,500 different products

126,000 auction clock-transactions a day



presentaizone Media Tour


GreenRail is an initiative that brings together 34 different operators of the floricultural, agricultural and transport industris, with the goal of achieving fast rail links, efficient, reliable and environmentally sustainable to carry agricultural products along three corridors towards Italy, Hungary and Romania.

It was launched in 2009, and now it begins to get its first results, while still in an experimental stage.


The challenge is to convince users that they can use the railway for transport issues with high reliability requirements such as perishable goods, and at prices equal to or lower than the road.


This project highlighted some important aspects that affect the ability to achieve the modal shift of freight from road to rail. At a glance:

-all the partners involved in the Organization of transport must have a high level of reliability;

- technology of means in use must be adapted to the needs of the goods to be transported;

-freight cost must not be higher than that on the road;

-traffic flows must be consolidated even if originated from different subjects;

>-the logistic chain must be managed by an external direction (4PL) for optimized flexibility;

-for last minute needs and emergency management, you must stedily diposo of different channels, for example by assigning the overall volume of transport to rail for 70% and 30% by road;

-behaviors to be applied in case of contingencies and disruption, to ensure the reliability of deliveries, must be coded and implemented by all partners;

-real-time communication between the partners to verify the state of transportation must be excellent;

-customers must change their ordering habits by considering one day more between sending the order and delivery of goods.


The latter is perhaps the most difficult issue: customers should be offered a service that, for reliability and/or for good price, justify the effort required to change their usual procedures of order processing.


On an initial total (until mid-2012) of 90 test shipments made with containers in GreenRail, punctuality rate JIT was 95%, resulting as an evidence that rail transport for floricultural industry is possible, that rail industry can open new markets, and that with the cooperation of several exporters (6) they can get better prices for transport.


In Italy are involved in the GreenRail project at least three terminals : Gallarate with Hupac trains, Mortara with Shuttlewise from Rotterdam and Milan Segrate with Van de Rijk/TXL.


Diesel-electric reefer containers are used, specially designed by unit45.com with special internal measures to better adapt to handling equipment of the flowers and plants: in particular the height, in two versions, from 2.95 and 3.08 meters.

This is the type to 2.95 seen in Mortara the 23.03.2011 (Photo f. Quattroccolo)


ultimo aggiornamento / Last update 05.01.2013





more infos and request for contacts :



your access to rail freight in Italy




Here we see two containers of the type to 3.08 ml height travelling by Wiesental (DE), on a Jan de Rijk train Venlo – Milan operated by TXL (03.08.2012, photo w. Mauser)

containers FloraUnit45


To promote the initiative, the video "GreenRail, the challenge" was made, that shows the challenge, for respect in delivery times of a flowering plant from the Netherlands to Lake of Como, between trains, trucks and ... a Ferrari.

Of course the train wins, and young Rosetta may get n time the flower that will accompany the marriage proposal of her boyfriend ...

The spoken language is Dutch (in Italian the Italians' dialogue), but you can easily understand the sense.

Link by clicking on the image.



GreenRail was introduced also in the 2011 edition of the Salon Flormart in Padua: you can download here the pdf of the page concerning the presentation of the service done with Jan de Rijk forwarder.


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floraunit H0

ferroverde H0




In addition to the GreenRail project, other Dutch operators have focused on the train for transport related to the agricultural sector.

In particular Ferroverde along with Florlogistica, which operates in Italy on Mortara, Melzo (ERSR) with forwards in the South to Bari and Frosinone


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