DPD Germany launches rail pilot project

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DPD Germany has launched a rail pilot project to improve its carbon footprint, in partnership with intermodal transportation business Kombiverkehr.

The trial began on May 30, 2022, with goods trains running daily between Hamburg and Duisburg in Germany, with DPD’s depots in each city located near the rail cargo terminals. Following this pilot, the company expects to gradually shift more of its long-distance parcel transport to rail. DPD Germany’s first carbon footprint goal for this project is for approximately 5% of DPD’s domestic freight transport to be shipped by rail as early as 2023.

Kombiverkehr is a Frankfurt-based transportation company comprising more than 230 freight forwarders and which has DB Cargo as a limited partner. Through this partnership, DPD Germany can book individual swap bodies onto existing routes, rather than filling a complete train.

Anke Förster, chief network planning and optimization officer at DPD Germany, said, “Our long-term goal is climate-neutral logistics. In addition to a range of measures that we are already implementing in local transport and along the last mile, our focus is very much on long-distance transport. This is where alternative drive technologies on the road play just as important a role as rail.”

Förster continued, “We’ll be happy to offer our experience as a partner in the discussion, and we can already say this much – it is advisable to specifically consult the business community on its wishes and interests and to base customer-oriented services on this. If possible, we would very much like to quickly shift a much larger share of our freight transport to rail.”

Björn Saschenbrecker from the sales department at Kombiverkehr said, “In the round trip between Hamburg and Duisburg, each swap body loaded with DPD shipments will emit around 1 ton less CO2 compared to pure road transport. This corresponds to a saving of more than 80%. Intermodal transport will therefore bring DPD a good deal closer to achieving its own climate targets.”

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