Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Rail has signed an agreement with Dubai-based logistics firm Global Shipping & Logistics (GSL) company, a subsidiary of the Al-Shirawi group.

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, GSL will be able to use Etihad Rail’s planned network to provide companies with its cold supply chain solutions. GSL offers clients such as restaurant chains a means of transporting and maintaining food at low temperatures.

Transporting foodstuffs by train will be a more efficient and safer way to ensure food is kept at low temperatures than transporting it by trucks.

This agreement follows another logistics deal signed in late September between Etihad Rail and Hoyer Global Transport, the Dutch subsidiary of a German firm, involving the transportation of bulk liquids.

The Etihad Rail network is still under development. On completion, it will span a total of 1,200 kilometres across the seven emirates. The network will also form part of the GCC railway network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia through Ghuweifat in the west and Oman through Al-Ain in the east.

The rail company issued tenders for two construction contracts on the second phase of the railway network in July.