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Development and demonstration of a system concept to shift trucking to railway

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Complete with results
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

The current supply with combined transports focusses on directly train compatible relations between high-volume transshipment-stations in economic centers but is concerning the available time slots not suitable for transshipping
time-sensitive transports (package service, part shipments, groupage freight
and general cargo) to the rail. Especially these transports offer considering
the utilization of normed combined transport compatible containers and their constant volume ideal conditions for transshipping them on the rail and all in all
represent a significant potential for the combined transport.


Consequently, goal of the joint project work between Stinnes AG (train) and Hellmann Worldwide Logistics (forwarder) is a logistics and production concept for these two different modes of transport. Innovative logistic-organizational approaches are utilized. It is essential that the two different transports systems are adapted to each other, so that they can be combined in an overall system. The current transportation processing at Hellmann is based on the truck representing the production unit, whereas the production unit train has at least 25 times more capacity on the rail when it breaks even. Hence it is necessary for the forwarder to radically change the daily routine of planning, processing and
scheduling. On the rail, it is necessary to develop a system via a the
combination and linkage of individual train units, which reaches the
performance levels of regular trains in terms of reliability, transport time and capacity.


 At first it was necessary to develop a cost-efficient overall system. Transshipment compatible relations had to be analyzed in a first step. Secondly, a profile of requirements for the processing of rail transports had to be developed. Afterwards, the rail transport concept had to be examined. A demonstration of the system was included. The gradual linkage of the branches of Hellmann (Osnabrück, Bremen, Hanover and Hamburg) to corresponding locations in the regions of Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig, Nuremberg and Munich.


Other Programme
Logistics and transport chains
Funding Source
Federal Ministry of Education and Research


The concept of shifting transports of the forwarder from road to rail has proven successful after overcoming initial difficulties. The punctuality was from day one very good because of the great effort of all partners. Only unexpected events led to delays, which were exceptions and only a few times the case. The capacity could be increased step by step in a continuous manner. At the end of the demonstration phase 60,000 truck kilometers a day could be shifted. Assuming 240 days of transport per year would represent a shift of 400,000 tons p.a. from road to rail. It is not to be neglected that the partners were pioneers and showed resilience in implementing the complex concept.

Findings of the study are published in detail by a final report (German only) which is available online via


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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