Britain’s biggest retailer plans to protect itself from the haulage crisis by using trains to import more Spanish produce.
According to Reuters, Tesco boss Ken Murphy said the supermarket had got through recent “challenging” months thanks to its ties with suppliers and detailed planning.
The chain last year began using a rail service to bring fruit and vegetables to Britain from Spain, slashing the number of lorries it has on the road.
It now aims to increase its 65,000 containers on rail per year to 90,000 by November or December.
“We’re one of the few if not the only grocery retailer in the UK that uses rail extensively,” Murphy said.
“That helped us during the HGV challenges we’ve had during the summer.
“To put it into context, by shipping 65,000 by rail, we save 22 million road miles a year.”
The trains, which “mostly” run on electricity and keep food fresh using chilled containers, produce 76 per cent less CO2 than lorries.
With a shortfall of 100,000 hauliers across the country, retailers have scrambled to plug gaps in their supply chain by boosting pay and incentives.
Tesco, Waitrose and Asda began offering recruits a £1,000 bonus this summer.
Iceland boss Richard Walker recently claimed some of its drivers were making £950 a shift, equating to £250,000 a year.