In July, DB Cargo Logistics expanded its Automotive RailNet network towards southeast Europe. The Trailer Romania Xpress, or TRX for short, is an ultra-frequent connection that transports cranable loading units to Romania. The service can handle any multimodal-compatible freight in trailers or containers. Katharina Bockweg, account manager at DB Cargo Logistics, says, "The corridor product was originally planned for core customers in the car industry along with their suppliers and freight forwarders, but it is also open to customers in other sectors." Even the transport of dangerous goods, such as batteries for electric vehicles, is an option for the future. Running between Stuttgart and Oradea, northern Romania's transport hub and economic centre, the shuttle needs two days to complete the route.
New: Trailer Med Xpress to and from Cologne
The Trailer Med Xpress, known as TMX, has formed a rail link between Germany and the Mediterranean since 2018. Five times a week, this regular shuttle for cranable mega-trailers, swap bodies and containers goes back and forth between Saarbrücken and Perpignan. This gives customers the opportunity to turn rail services into a key element of their supply chains along this corridor and make the most of the benefits that combined transport brings. Each train needs less than 24 hours to complete the 1,000 km journey, and reliability is guaranteed due to the absence of traffic congestion, rest periods and road tolls.
These aren't the only factors that make the shuttle a real alternative to lorries: sustainability has long since become a competitive advantage instead of an additional cost, and train services can now really play to this particular strength. When compared with road haulage, trains' CO2 emissions are 88% lower. If removing one lorry from circulation eliminates 800 kg of CO2, the fact that a train can transport the same volume as 34 lorries means that each shuttle journey reduces emissions by up to 127 tonnes of CO2. DB Cargo Logistics has now extended the route to Cologne and so offers yet another economic powerhouse a link to the French and Spanish markets four times a week. Of key importance here is the option of moving cranable trailers with profiles up to P400, the same as the Saarbrücken–Perpignan route. As DB Cargo Logistics account manager Daniel Toth points out, "This makes us one of the only providers who can handle this profile on regular services crossing France."
Flexible bookings for single spaces
DB Cargo Logistics' corridor products are extremely flexible. The use of interoperable wagons for containers opens them up to firms from all kinds of industries. Andreas Weiss, head of the company's sales and operation centre, explains: "Our customers are not stuck with set quantities or percentages. In other words, they don't have to transport consignments of the same volume every day. Instead, they can book flexible load sizes without worrying about round trips or capacity levels. This is a real advantage, particularly during times of economic uncertainty such as the current pandemic." Round trips are not mandatory, but they are an option: DB Cargo Logistics returns empty units at low cost if a customer requests. This takes further pressure off of Europe's roads. Combined transport has a further advantage in the form of the "44 tonne rule", which permits lorries to transport 4 tonnes more than normal if they are performing a pre- or onward carriage service. For companies that move 1,000 load units every year, this really makes a difference.