Kombiverkehr and DB Cargo join forces for modal shift

Kombiverkehr KG and DB Cargo AG have signed a cooperation agreement with a 9-point plan to enhance and develop Combined Transport (CT). Over 230 more forwarders will join the two companies in their attempt to realise the modal shift by moving more cargo from road to rail. Their plans also include a joint growth strategy in a shared network with synced services.

The new collaboration estimates to save approximately 50 million tons of CO2 emissions during the next ten years by improving connections between freight trains and road trucks. The main tools to achieve this goal will be the intense digitalisation and automation of processes to make logistics and supply chains simpler and more efficient.

The Metro-Net

A new network is about to emerge as a result of the recently inked agreement. Terminal locations of each company will combine with these of the rest freight forwarders, with the intent to develop a new fully synchronised ‘Metro-Net’ network. It will operate under a shared and adjusted timetable connecting central German and European industrial hubs.

Kombiverkehr and DB Cargo also aim to simplify all the scheduling and invoicing processes to deviate from time-consuming bureaucracy. In this way, they expect to attract more logistics companies in the CT and rail sector by arguing that even long-distance trips can be easy to organise. Undoubtedly, the rail sector requires such initiatives that will make it more convenient to access and use.

The shared German and European network

Agreement’s mainstays

The two companies have summed up their future joint activities in four comprehensive project mainstays. Their number one goal is to promote digitalisation in local terminals to make operational handling easier. Secondly, the ‘digitalisation behind the scenes’ as they describe it is also crucial since it will facilitate the exchange of information across the entire intermodal chain and make it more transparent.

Moreover, the Metro-Net is a central pillar for the project: with 16 large terminals in Germany already interconnected, customers can book around 15,000 different route variants, and the situation is about to improve even more with the synchronisation of services and the addition of trains and terminals. Finally, speed and efficiency will be Metro-Net’s main characteristics since it will allow the swift transport of goods in Germany and Europe by applying quick handling procedures in the network’s CT hubs.

“This new cooperation of road and rail fits perfectly into our rail freight transport master plan aimed at strengthening the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the sector”, commented Andreas Scheuer, German Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Similarly, Sigrid Nikutta, DB Board Member for Freight Transport, underlined that with the intelligent expansion of networks and terminals, many more direct services and much simpler handling processes for our customers, we are getting more traffic onto rail.

Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

2 comments op “Kombiverkehr and DB Cargo join forces for modal shift”

Przemek Myszka|31.03.21|08:49

Well, 50 tons of CO2 in ten years is a rather low bar to jump over, given that the global yearly average for a single person’s carbon footprint is about five tonnes. It should read 50 million.

Petr Kadeřávek|02.04.21|13:12

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