Aceona Management

Aceona Case Study
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LCFD project companies:




Aceona Management Block Picture

Who benefited from the Low Carbon Freight Dividend, and how? This is one of a series of case studies that goes ‘behind the scenes’ to find out how the project is working for participating SMEs.
Here, Chris Drayson of Aceona explains his enthusiasm for the project and why he got involved. We would like to thank him for his input.  The views expressed in our case studies are always those of the managers/companies interviewed and not necessarily those of the project team, the Haven Gateway or ERDF.
T ell us about your company:

Aceona Management was started more than six years ago to manage containerised import business from ports to customers’ premises, with the majority of imports using rail for the major part of the journey. Our clients include a large beverages group, a chemical company and others importing marble, stone products and finished goods.

Do companies really want to be green?

‘Green’ issues are increasingly at the centre of people’s thinking and planning. Larger companies have perhaps led the way, helped by the fact that they tend to have more resources – time, money and people – to focus on supply chain management. But I believe absolutely loads of cargo belonging to smaller companies could, and should, go by rail. Using rail reduces the carbon footprint drastically, as well as improving efficiency.

It is important to us to enable our clients to improve their ‘green’ credentials. But it’s also important to emphasise that it’s a sensible move financially too. My clients have saved as much as 38% in transport costs by switching distribution from road to rail. For example, the majority of our managed imports are in
20-ft containers. The costs of moving a 20-ft or a 40-ft container by road are the same or very close; but rail companies charge by space used, so a 20-ft container is discounted.

What attracted you to the Low Carbon Freight Dividend project?

Everyone in the transport sector is working on tight margins; the Low Carbon Freight Dividend is an incentive that will help to kick off new rail transport solutions and will definitely help us to encourage business to rail.

We are taking a bit of a ‘unique’ approach to the project – giving clients the rebate for every fourth container carried by rail. It’s still a generous amount across four boxes, and by spreading it in this way we can get even more business on the train – which is the aim, of course. 

Progress so far?

We have already moved our first containers to benefit from the Low Carbon Freight Dividend.

We are working with three flows of business by rail through this scheme – out of Felixstowe and destined for Doncaster, Ripon and Wirksworth.
In one case, moving kiln bricks, we made an additional saving. When going by road, this cargo would need to be transported by tipper chassis, a piece of specialist equipment that isn’t in plentiful supply and is therefore pricey. Instead of paying for two tipper chassis for the long road journey, we were able to move two containers north by rail, only requiring one tipper chassis to move each of the loads the final few miles from railhead to final destination.

 Project statistics
  • Number of containers moved to date: 733
  • Grant received to date: £54,975


How many containers do you hope to move with the support of the Low Carbon Freight Dividend?   

Thirty container import movements will be supported by the scheme – however, the way in which we are using this dividend will secure 120 import bookings to rail.

Are you getting a lot of interest from clients and potential clients?  

As well as the flows that we have already converted to rail, we are currently negotiating with other clients. They are much larger flows and it is the intention to move the total by rail.

Your views?  

This project can definitely work; it should encourage SMEs to use rail and will help the government to improve its carbon figures. My message to SMEs is: You should be doing this!

Savings to date



Total carbon savings


East of England carbon savings