Marks & Spencer is to shift a proportion of its distribution from road to rail as part of its Plan A sustainability programme.

The retailer is to transport 300,000 general merchandise products a week by rail rather than road and expects to reduce carbon emissions by more than 800 tonnes a year as a result.

Marks & Spencer will work in partnership with logistics firm DHL, which will operate 25 containers a week for the retailer. Marks & Spencer will be able to distribute hanging clothing in the containers after the development of a bespoke container transport solution.

Marks & Spencer head of general merchandise retail and outlet logistics said: “Rail distribution saves time, costs less and cuts carbon emissions from our transport operations.”