Rail takes off pressure on roads to German seaports

From 1 April 2020, IGS Intermodal Container Logistics will provide a regular rail freight connection between Heilbronn and the seaports of Hamburg and Bremerhaven. In addition, it will provide terminal, depot and trucking services in the economically strong region of Heilbronn through its sister company Container Depot Nürnberg (CDN).

The rail freight service will be offered three times a week between the northern seaports and the city in southern Germany, nearby Stuttgart. For this purpose, IGS Intermodal Container Logistics GmbH, part of the IGS Logistics Group, integrates the location into its existing block train network. Depending on demand, the service may be increased in frequency at a later stage.

Following demand

The roads around the region of Stuttgart have long been congested, causing difficulty for freight traffic to be planned and managed efficiently. The logistics industry, but also trade stakeholders have called for additional intermodal connections for a while. It is against this background that the service was initiated, the Hamburg-based logistics firm explains.

In Hamburg, the terminals CTA, CTB, EUROGATE and CTT will be called on by train. In Bremerhaven, the trains serve terminals CT I to IV. From Hamburg trains start every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and one day earlier from Bremerhaven. The trains in Heilbronn are unloaded and reloaded on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in the afternoons. Arrival of the trains in the port of Hamburg is scheduled for Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and in Bremerhaven the following day.

Terminal services

In addition, sister company Container Depot Nürnberg (CDN) has acquired a a 33.3 per cent stake in the local operating company Kombi Terminal Heilbronn (KTHN). “In addition to a market-oriented and reliable train offer, empty container services and trucking offers at the location are of crucial importance for the customer”, the parenting company explains.

“Together with their co-partners, the forwarding agents W. Wüst GmbH & Co. KG and Karl Schmidt Spedition GmbH & Co. KG, the service portfolio of the terminal will be expanded as needed. In future, the range of services offered by the terminal, container handling and intermediate storage of full containers will be supplemented primarily by empty depot services, repairs, container washing and all other services related to empty containers.

Last mile

KTHN also takes over the trucking of the containers on the first and last mile. The service offer of the terminal is rounded off by the possibility of intermediate storage of loading units with dangerous goods (max. 24 hours) as well as power connections for temperature-controlled containers.

“A large number of well-known companies with strong imports and exports are located in the economic region of Heilbronn-Franken”, explains Ronny Kehrhahn, responsible for network development and control at IGS Intermodal. “The new train product to Heilbronn in connection with needs-based empty depot and trucking services enables these companies to have a direct and reliable connection to the German seaports.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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