DB Cargo boss reflects on an ‘eventful’ year
Raimund Stüer, head of Europe’s largest rail operator DB Cargo, believes the coming year will mean adapting to the changing needs of the logistics sector. In his end-of-year message to customers, he said the disruption caused by the Rastatt incident had shown how quickly operations could be affected.
Stüer, the most senior management board member for DB Cargo Sales in Europe, said while the past 12 months had seen the company stabilise its market position, the period had also demonstrated the speed with which external factors could upset the most ‘robust transport systems’.
“Events such as the line closure in Rastatt and unusually destructive storms have affected day-to-day operations lately. For us as for you, that has meant having to change plans and adjusting to exceptional circumstances,” he wrote. “No matter how well-prepared you are, some events are simply unpredictable and the best plans in the world cannot cover all eventualities.”
The only way to respond, he added, was to develop ‘quickly, professionally and together’ the most flexible solutions to enable the quickest responses for when disruptions arise.
“Our tasks for the coming year are clear. We will continue to expand intermodal transport solutions in order to combine the advantages of rail with the strengths of other transport modes. We are drawing on all the business areas of our company in order to develop new methods of operation in combined transport,” said Stüer.
“Secondly, we are adjusting our system to meet the increasing demands of european transport logistics issues. That involves strengthening the European transport corridors, introducing more interoperable locomotives and becoming more efficient. To achieve all this, we are developing our track & trace systems as well as an integrated and universal logistics and information system across Europe for our customers.”
The third task, he added, would focus on the ‘key role’ that digitalisation will play: “Using digital solutions, we intend to fit our locomotives and wagons with transport-support systems such as tracking & tracing and sensors for our locomotives and wagons so that we can provide you with more information for your logistics operations,” said Stüer.