ETIHAD Rail has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the subsidiary of Chinese shipping line Cosco that operates a container terminal at the port of Khalifa in Abu Dhabi.

Cosco Shipping Ports Abu Dhabi Container Freight Station (CSP AD CFS) will use the Etihad Rail network to move containers to logistics hubs and industrial zones across the United Arab Emirates.

Etihad Rail began full freight operations in 2023 and now serves 11 terminals, including inland sites at Ruwais, Al Ghail, Ghuwaifat, Shah and Habshan and at the ports of Ruwais, Khalifa, Jebel Ali and Fujairah.

By using its network of strategically-located freight terminals, Etihad Rail says that CSP AD CFS will benefit from more efficient use of time and resources.

Shifting from road to rail will also help CSP AD CFS improve sustainability, as both parties are committed to the UAE’s Net Zero by 2050 initiative. The national rail network being operated and developed by Etihad Rail aims to reduce CO2 emissions from road transport in the UAE by 21% a year by 2050, equivalent to removing 8.2 million tonnes of CO2 a year.

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

“CSP AD CFS will benefit from Etihad Rail’s end-to-end services that combine sustainability, speed to market, and are, most importantly, competitive,” says 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.