Saturday , 18 January 2020
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Intermodal, the combined road-rail transportation subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn (DB), and duisport, the operator of the Port of Duisburg, are planning to cooperate to increase the number of containers carried to and from western European sea ports, making Duisburg a combined transportation hub for such traffic. They see substantial potential: at the Port of Hamburg, for example, every third container leaves by train, but at Rotterdam rail’s share is no more than 11%.

Duisburg positions itself as rail hub

Dr. Sebastian Jürgens, head of DB’s Intermodal business unit, said: “Container moves in the western ports run currently at 18m teu and will grow at double-digit rates over the next few years. Numbers will become huge in Duisburg and will require an efficient combined road-rail transportation system as well as an expansion of the infrastructure. This is where our hub strategy comes in, to provide all containers passing through Duisburg with a direct link to the continental network we serve.”

Handling 1.3m containers annually, Duisburg is already the world’s largest inland container port. It offers daily ship and train shuttle services to the North Sea and the Baltic ports, while 300 combined road-rail transportation trains connect its terminals with destinations around Europe.

“We are confident that the extension of the DUSS terminal and, above all, our proposed new gateway terminal will substantially strengthen the position of trains in the modal split on the Western Seaboard routes,” remarked Erich Staake, CEO of Duisburger Hafen AG.

Work has already begun to increase the annual handling capacity of the DB terminal in Duisburg Ruhrort from 170,000 to 250,000 cargo units a year. A new crane went into operation in April, and the number of loading and unloading tracks will be increased from five to eight in the autumn. In the next step, the planned gateway terminal will provide facilities for train-to-train cargo transfers, with a capacity of 120,000 cargo units per year.