The United Arab Emirates’ railway network operator Etihad Rail has signed an agreement with COSCO’s Abu Dhabi ports subsidiary on the rail transport of goods between Khalifa Port and logistics hubs around the UAE. 

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with COSCO Shipping Ports (CSP) Abu Dhabi Container Freight Station will see the terminal use the Etihad Rail network as part of the onward multimodal transport of its cargo. 

Gunther J. Ferk, CEO of Etihad Rail Freight, said: “Integrating rail into CSP AD CFS’s operations at Khalifa Port aligns with our commitment to creating safe and reliable transport solutions.” 

“This collaboration connects one of the UAE’s primary ports with critical catchment areas, enabling seamless movement of goods within the regional supply chain.” 

As part of the agreement, CSP will be able to use Etihad Rail’s freight terminals as storage and distribution centres to improve the efficiency of its operations through cargo consolidation and deconsolidation. 

Yu Bin, general manager of CSP Abu Dhabi said: “By integrating rail transport into our service offerings, we aim to improve the connectivity between our facilities and key markets, reduce transit times, and lower our carbon footprint.” 

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The 900km rail network finished construction in February 2023 and connects seven logistics centres across the UAE to ports including Khalifa, Jebel Ali, and Fujairah Port with freight trains already in operation ahead of the launch of passenger services. 

Since opening the rail network has been improving its connections with agreements such as the MoU with CSP and a major construction contract signed in partnership with Oman to create a rail link between Oman and the UAE

The CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports also recently told Airport Technology about the company’s plans to create a rail link to the new Zayed International Airport terminal in Abu Dhabi.