Etihad Rail partners with Cosco subsidiary for container transport across UAE

Etihad Rail has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cosco Shipping Ports Abu Dhabi Container Freight Station (CSP AD CFS), a subsidiary of the Chinese shipping line Cosco, which operates a container terminal at the Port of Khalifa in Abu Dhabi. This partnership will see CSP AD CFS utilising the Etihad Rail network to transport containers to logistics hubs and industrial zones across the United Arab Emirates.

Etihad Rail, which began full freight operations in 2023, now serves 11 terminals, including inland sites at Ruwais, Al Ghail, Ghuwaifat, Shah, and Habshan, as well as the ports of Ruwais, Khalifa, Jebel Ali, and Fujairah. By leveraging its network of strategically located freight terminals, Etihad Rail aims to enhance the efficiency of CSP AD CFS operations through better use of time and resources.

This shift from road to rail is also expected to improve sustainability for CSP AD CFS, aligning with both parties’ commitment to the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 initiative. The national rail network operated by Etihad Rail is designed to reduce CO2 emissions from road transport in the UAE by 21 percent annually by 2050, equivalent to removing 8.2 million tonnes of CO2 each year.

Developed under a strategic agreement between the governments of China and the UAE, CSP AD CFS is the largest container terminal in the region, covering 27.5 hectares. It became fully operational in November 2021 and has the capacity to handle 2.5 million TEU annually, with the provision to increase this to 3.5 million TEU.

“CSP AD CFS will benefit from Etihad Rail’s end-to-end services that combine sustainability, speed to market, and are, most importantly, competitive,” said Mr. Gunther Ferk, CEO of Etihad Rail Freight. “These enhanced logistics capabilities will attract more businesses to the region, further establishing the UAE as a global trade hub and contributing to the diversification of the national economy.”