Key corridors for growth of unaccompanied combined transport in Europe
Since Germany plays a significant role in the economy of continental Europe, many transport routes begin, end or run via its territory. This particularly refers to combined transport. In this regard, most of the unaccompanied freight is moving from Germany southwards. Meanwhile, the eastern and southeastern directions become more and more popular among the shippers.
Such conclusions can be made on the basis of the annual report of Kombiverkehr, the German logistics provider focused on developing combined transport connections. On Thursday, 22 June, the Frankfurt-based specialist unveiled its results for the past year. “In 2021 the company increased transport volumes in unaccompanied combined transport by 79,881 truckloads, or 9.3 per cent, on the previous year, reaching a total of 937,959 consignments. Converted into TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Unit), the volume of consignments amounted to around 1.88 million TEU,” Kombiverkehr stated. Most of the truck consignments, 747,438 or almost 80 per cent, were destined outside Germany. Some key corridors can be defined among the company’s international destinations.
Germany/Benelux – Italy
More than half of Kombiverkehr’s international consignments are related to the Germany/Benelux – Italy via Switzerland corridor. Traditionally, the Germany-Italy connections via Switzerland and Austria were important for the company’s activities, especially in recent years. “Volumes in this important core market have thus risen by a total of 1.5 per cent compared with the previous year, with individual international corridors showing significant differences in terms of the trend in volumes,” the Frankfurt-based logistics provider noted.
The last years also saw the growing demand for the Benelux – Italy shipments. Kombiverkehr, in turn, launched several new connections, which were actually based on the Germany – Italy services. Therefore, the company is regarding the Germany/Benelux – Italy corridor as a single market segment. Moreover, due to its increased popularity among the customers (more than 24,000 truck consignments in 2021), the company established a special sales region for the Benelux destinations.
Germany – Netherlands
The second most popular corridor in Kombiverkehr’s network is the combined transport connections between Germany and the Netherlands. In 2021 the German specialist together with its Dutch subsidiary KombiRail moved 58,263 consignments, which is 6 per cent more compared to the previous year. “The gains in this transport segment are attributable first and foremost to an increase in the overall number of departures and a slight improvement in train capacity utilisation,” the company explained its success in the corridor. Currently, Kombiverkehr provides 18 weekly services between Germany and the Netherlands that link the key hubs of both countries: Duisburg, Neuss and Ludwigshafen in Germany, Rotterdam and Moerdijk in the Netherlands.
Germany – Iberian Peninsula
“The national corridor between Germany and the Iberian Peninsula, which we operate together with our Spanish partner Combiberia, chalked up the highest growth in absolute terms in this market segment, with an increase of 6,777 consignments,” the German logistics provider noted. In 2021 it moved 54,352 truckloads, which is 14.2 per cent more than a year before. Such growth can be explained by the positive trends in the economy of Spain, particularly in the chemical industry in Catalonia. Therefore, Kombiverkehr increased train frequency on the KTL Ludwigshafen – Barcelona Morrot – KTL Ludwigshafen line from three to four per week.
Germany – Austria
Another popular corridor for combined transport among Kombiverkehr’s customers is the Germany – Austria corridor. In 2021 this segment showed an increase of 3.1 per cent compared to the previous year. This resulted in almost 25,000 truckloads between the two countries. Last year, the logistics company made some improvements in the corridor: it increased the number of trains between Neuss and Wels and added an additional stop in Munich for the Ludwigshafen – Wels – Ludwigshafen connection. It is worth noting that some Austrian destinations have convenient connections throughout the country as well as to Hungary and Turkey.
Promising growth in Central Eastern Europe
In contrast to Austria, the Central Eastern European countries did not demonstrate such impressive results in terms of volumes: 14,280 consignments for the Czechia-Slovakia segment, 7,230 consignments for Hungary and 6,163 consignments for Poland. However, these countries are promising in terms of growth. “Good capacity utilisation ensured that our trains on the routes between Germany and Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland were able to run as scheduled. This resulted in double-digit rates of growth in traffic with Poland (+46.4 per cent), Hungary (+36.8 per cent) and the Czech Republic (+19.8 per cent),” Kombiverkehr summed up.
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