Transport & Mobility

When it comes to goods transportation and mobility solutions for employees, Migros is committed to protecting the environment and the climate. In 2014, it imported more products through the Ligurian ports, made more use of reusable pallets and promoted environmentally friendly business and customer transport.

Environmental protection in the national distribution of goods is a key component of Migros' 2020 climate and energy strategy. To this end, Migros relies on rail transport in particular, usually in combination with low-emission lorries. For the transportation of goods on its premises, Migros tested two e-trucks for the first time in Switzerland in 2014. The company also uses low-emission vehicles for business transport. To offer employees and customers an environmentally friendly alternative to motorised private transport, Migros if focusing increasingly on car-sharing services.

Resource-efficient transportation of goods by rail and lorry

As a company with a long tradition of environmental awareness, Migros has been transporting a large proportion of its goods by rail for decades. The distribution centres and most of the industrial companies have their own rail connections.

With an annual freight volume exceeding 1.3 million tonnes, Migros is the biggest customer of SBB Cargo.

With an annual freight volume exceeding 1.3 million tonnes, Migros has been the biggest customer of SBB Cargo for years. In 2014, the goods wagons of SBB Cargo covered around 11.6 million kilometres for Migros, 3.0% more than in the previous year. Migros transports around half of all its goods by rail. To ensure that it remains the number one retailer for rail freight, Migros is aiming to increase this proportion even further in the future.

Despite the rise in rail freight, road transport is still necessary, as the final mile in particular can only be covered by lorry due to a lack of adequate infrastructure. To keep the proportion of road transport low, Migros is focusing more strongly on intermodal transport. With intermodal transport, goods are transported in containers and trailers that cover the first and/or last kilometres of a route by lorry and the long distance in between by rail.

To make road transport as environmentally friendly as possible, the ten regional Cooperatives have their own fleet, consisting primarily of low-emission vehicles. In 2014, 80.0% of the kilometres driven were covered with low-emission lorries that meet the strict Euro 5 and 6 emission standards. The Migros Cooperatives Zurich and Aare used lorries with electric engines (e-trucks) for the first time in the reporting year. Systematic use of these vehicles can reduce CO2 emissions by at least 113 tonnes of CO2 per year in the area of logistics. The two Cooperatives are planning to acquire more e-trucks in the longer term, which will make a considerable contribution towards supporting Migros' climate and energy strategy.

Figures Cooperative Retailing & Industry


CO2 emissions from goods transport (in-house fleet)

CO2 emissions from goods transportation with lorries (in-house fleet) 1 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Change compared to previous year
CO2 emissions from fuel, absolute (in 1'000 tonnes CO2) 24.7 24.9 24.4 24.2 23.7 -1.8%
CO2 emissions from fuel, specific (in g CO2/tonne kilometres) 29.9 30.2 29.9 29.8 28.9 -3.2%

1 In-house lorry fleet of the Migros Cooperatives and Saviva. Tonne kilometres (tkm) according to HVF survey


Kilometrage of lorries (in-house fleet)

Kilometrage of Euro category lorries (in-house fleet)
(in km million)
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Change compared to previous year
Euro 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 14.9 12.3 10.3 8.2 6.1 -25.3%
Euro 5, 6 15.7 18.1 19.7 21.6 24.1 11.4%
Total kilometres by lorry (km million) 30.6 30.4 30.0 29.8 30.2 1.1%
Proportion of Euro 5 and 6 (%) 51.5% 59.6% 65.6% 72.6% 79.8% 9.9%


Carbon dioxide and fine dust emissions

Nitrogen oxide and particle emissions
(in tonnes) 1
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Change compared to previous year
Nitrogen oxide emissions 125.9 113.8 102.2 88.5 75.2 -15%
Particle emissions 2.46 2.09 1.80 1.46 1.16 -21%

1 Calculated on basis of kilometres and Euro categories (in-house lorry fleet Cooperatives and Saviva)

Figures Migros Groupe


Rail transport kilometrage

Rail transport kilometrage
(in km million) 1
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Change compared to previous year
Rail transport kilometrage 11.0 10.5 10.3 11.3 11.6 3.0%

1 Domestic transport by Cooperative Retailing, Migros Industry and the retailers Globus and Migrol

Direct connection to the Ligurian ports

Migros is one of Switzerland's biggest importers. Maritime container transport makes up a considerable proportion of the total import volume, especially for goods from China and India.

By importing goods through the Ligurian ports, Migros is setting new standards in transportation.

Transporting more goods through the Ligurian ports instead of the more distant ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp shortens the journeys and reduces emissions.

Migros even went a step further in 2014, setting new standards in transportation by directing 25% of all container imports from China and India via La Spezia. When transporting 20 tonnes of freight from Hong Kong to the Migros distribution centre in Neuendorf, this "greener route" generates 16% less CO2 emissions than via the port of Rotterdam.

Returnable containers in the area of logistics

Environmental protection often takes place behind the scenes. The use of returnable containers in the area of logistics is just one example. When transporting goods, Migros always tries to use robust plastic containers in place of cardboard boxes. These last for more than ten years and can be used for a vast number of deliveries.

By using returnable containers to transport its goods, Migros saved 91‘300 tonnes of cardboard in 2014.

Migros is aiming to save 75'000 tonnes of cardboard by transporting goods in returnable containers. With a volume of more than 91'300 tonnes, this target was substantially exceeded in 2014. Migros is the only retailer in Switzerland to use returnable containers on such a large scale. All Migros enterprises are connected to this return system, along with 1200 suppliers in Switzerland and abroad.

Due to logistical difficulties, return systems still tend to be the exception for international imports. However, Migros uses reusable pallets for grapefruit shipments from the USA. The company imports around 1400 tonnes of grapefruits from Florida each year. Disposable pallets or pallets with dimensions that cannot be used in Switzerland are usually used for shipments from overseas. By using reusable pallets instead, the number of these can be reduced considerably.

Environmentally friendly business trips

Migros also strives to protect the environment and preserve resources when it comes to business trips. In Cooperative Retailing, it has a total of some 800 company cars, which drive almost 19 million kilometres annually. Business trips make up about 11% of the company's total fuel consumption.

The aim of the directive for the procurement of climate-friendly company cars is for the car fleet of Migros to emit an average of only 130 grammes of CO2 per kilometre by 2016. To reach this target, Migros is focusing on low-consumption cars and also has some electric cars and full hybrid vehicles. In 2014, the CO2 emissions of the car fleet were reduced to 136 grammes per kilometre.

Employees of various Migros companies can also use Mobility vehicles for both private and professional purposes; in 2014, they drove around 157'120 kilometres on business. In addition, employees are offered discounted season tickets for public transport.

Migros also promotes the use of bicycles. In 2014, 1100 employees took part in the Bike to work campaign. All business flights of the Federation of Migros Cooperatives, the regional Cooperatives and the industry and logistics enterprises are CO2-offset via the myclimate foundation. In the reporting year, total CO2 emissions from flights rose by 30% to around 3'253 tonnes.

Environmentally friendly customer mobility

In 2014, Migros made an even bigger commitment to offering its customers environmentally friendly mobility solutions, especially by promoting car-sharing services and electromobility. Together with Mobiliar and Mobility, the Migros subsidiary m-way AG launched sharoo, a car-sharing platform for individuals.

Migros also supports the eMOTION project in the city of Zurich, which encourages the switch to urban and environmentally friendly mobility. As part of the project, individuals and companies share their electric cars on the sharoo platform. As a founding member of the Swiss bicycle delivery association VLD, Migros makes a commitment to expanding and professionalising home delivery services by bike, in the form of reintegration programmes for the long-term unemployed.


Further information

More rail shipments in eastern Switzerland

In 2014, Migros improved its rail freight in eastern Switzerland, especially between the Migros Neuendorf (SO) distribution centre and Gossau (SG). Migros and SBB Cargo switched the transportation of frozen products to rail, which reduces lorry transport by around 300'000 kilometres per year.

Car-sharing: the environmentally friendly alternative

Migros' different car-sharing services are becoming increasingly popular. The concept is being embraced in particular by the younger generation in cities. With its red cars, Mobility now serves more than 100'000 customers in Switzerland. In Europe, car-sharing is growing by around 50% each year.

Car-free shopping

Migros is committed to climate-friendly mobility for its customers and promotes car-free shopping. Migros' branches can be reached easily by foot, bike or public transport. Customers who need to transport bulky items can hire a self-service delivery vehicle at selected stores or use Migros' home-delivery service. 

Transport & Mobility (pdf, 43.65 KB)