DB Cargo container train, source: DB Cargo

DB Cargo suffers losses for 5 years

DB Cargo has suffered a loss of 1.18 billion euros in the last five years. This is apparent from an analysis of the books of the rail company carried out by sister publication Nieuwsblad Transport, based in the Netherlands.

DB Cargo, the largest rail freight transporter in the Dutch rail market, suffered a loss of 128 million euros in 2014. That loss rose to a record high of 341 million euros last year. Only in 2016 did the loss decrease slightly to 229 million euros compared to 242 million euros in 2015.


In German politics, criticism of years of disappointing business results is growing. DB Cargo is part of national railway company Deutsche Bahn. The losses are compensated by the parent company with cross-subsidies.

The figures surveyed by Nieuwsblad Transport show that DB Cargo received 73 million euros from the infrastructure budget of the central German government last year. This ensured that the loss last year did not exceed 400 million euros. The largest loss was suffered by the railway company from the carriage of cars, which led to a deficit of 843 million euros in the last five years.


Various scenarios are currently being discussed within Deutsche Bahn to turn the tide. A scenario is the disposal of car transport. Another scenario focuses on maintaining this branch with subsidies. The traffic ministry is not in favor of the last option, because there is more and more resistance to giving state aid to a distressed group.

The divestment of the wagon load branch is at the same time at odds with the intended sustainability plans that focus on shifting the transport of goods from road to rail.

Author: John Versleijen

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