DHL shifts from road to rail in northern Italy

Image: DHL

After Honda and Stellantis shifted to rail for their transportation services in Italy, DHL is joining as well, signaling how big companies are willing to choose rail over road, if suitable services are provided. The German company is in fact launching a new intermodal service that will connect the port of Genoa, in the Italian northwest, with the Padua Interport, in the northeast. The convoy will be transporting 28 40-foot containers and, for now, there are two weekly roundtrips scheduled.

The service is provided in collaboration with two intermodal companies. GTS Rail, with headquarters in Bari, in the south of Italy, and Hannibal, a subsidiary of Contship, from Genoa. The former will take care of traction services, while the latter will act as a multimodal transport operator.

This shift from road to rail will mostly help to decongest the port of Genoa. This is because customs operations can be carried out directly at the Padua Interport. To have a better understanding of the impact that this service will have, every train will remove 28 trucks from the road. Considering that each week there will be two rotations, it means that 112 trucks are taken off the road every week. DHL and Hannibal were contacted for further information but they did not provide any as of yet.

Big companies shifting to rail in Italy

DHL is not the first big company in Italy that chose to shift from road to rail in the past couple of months. Stellantis started exchanging goods via rail between its two facilities in Poland and Italy last August, in collaboration with Arcese and Sangritana. More recently, Sangritana was also responsible for the new service on behalf of Honda to transport motorbike components via rail from Trieste to Honda’s facility in the Sangro Valley, in southeast Italy.

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Author: Marco Raimondi

Marco Raimondi is an editor of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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