SEAT and Autometro renew the rail transport service for vehicles between Martorell and the Port of Barcelona
- The new contract is for a period of three years
- Autometro moves 105,000 cars annually and since 2008 more than one million vehicles have been transported from Martorell
- This service does away with 25,000 trucks on the road every year
SEAT and Autometro, an affiliate company of FGC and COMSA Rail Transport, have signed a contract renewal of the rail service that transports vehicles between the SEAT production plant in Martorell and the Port of Barcelona. In operation since 2008, this train service, operated by Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) –Catalan Regional Railway, currently transports an average of 105,000 vehicles every year.
With this signing, both companies are extending operation of the Autometro service by a further three years. During this time, several technical studies will be carried out that will enable complementary rail traffic and adjust the service to the current needs of the Martorell factory. At present, these trains make three trips a day from Monday to Friday, and are integrated in the Baix Llobregat Metro rail service.
The Autometro service runs on the FGC’s Llobregat-Anoia line, whose track is about 50 metres from the SEAT plant and has a branch line to connect it, and enters in the Port of Barcelona via an access track to the unloading zone. Once in the harbour, the vehicles are exported by means of maritime transport to their final destination.
SEAT Vice-president for Production and Logistics Dr. Christian Vollmer stated that “the renewal of the agreement is clear proof of SEAT’s commitment to rail transport and an example of the benefits of collaboration between the public and private sector. SEAT is Spain’s largest industrial export company and needs transportation infrastructure that contributes to generating wealth in society. SEAT will remain committed to logistics to make the distribution of vehicles more flexible, efficient and sustainable.”
According to FGC President Ricard Font, “this renewal demonstrates the trust that Autometro clients place in the freight transport service managed by FGC. The feedback we obtain from surveys for the renewal of our ISO 9001 quality management certification show high scores in key aspects for customers, such as compliance and punctuality, high reaction capacity for dealing with service contingencies, and fluid communication; a further example of the excellent service offered by Ferrocarrils and the human capital that makes it possible.”
A decade of sustainable transport
The consolidation of Autometro confirms SEAT’s and FGC’s firm global commitment to the environment and sustainable mobility. SEAT exports more than 80% of the vehicles made in Martorell and rail transport is ecological, profitable and efficient. Furthermore, it contributes to reducing accidents, as the Autometro line alone does away with around 25,000 trucks annually on the route between Martorell and Barcelona. This service relies on a 411 metre train with articulated double-decker carriages that can carry 170 vehicles. This October, the Autometro line posted the figure of one million vehicles transported since it opened in 2008.
Logistics aligns with Industry 4.0
SEAT is transforming its industrial processes to make the Martorell factory a benchmark in Industry 4.0. Automation and digitalisation are key factors for ensuring that the processes are more flexible and efficient and that they respond to customer demands. Logistics plays an essential role in Industry 4.0, and for this reason SEAT is soon going to inaugurate a new, completely automated logistics centre, the tallest in Spain, with a capacity for 119,000 boxes and a maximum height of 43.7 metres.
Moreover, SEAT benefits from another FGC managed rail service as well, called Cargometro, which transports parts from the Zona Franca plant to Martorell. The company is also innovating in road transport and was ground-breaking in Spain with the use of 25.25 metre long gigatrucks for the transport of components. Currently in its testing stage is a duotrailer, a 31.75 metre long truck with a 60 tonne payload capacity.