DP World has planned to invest €35m (US$41m) into its container terminal in Stuttgart, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary this year.
These investments will take place over the next three to five years with the aim to bolster the capacity of operations at the terminal, which has energy efficient rail and barge on-site and is the only tri-modal terminal in Stuttgart.
Rob Harrison, CEO of DP World Inland, said: “On the back of our 25th year anniversary, we are extremely proud of our work and history to date at our DP World Stuttgart container terminal. However, we see this milestone as only the beginning.
“Our investment at the terminal will help to strengthen our trimodal transport solutions, boost supply chain resiliency in the European mainland and consequently ensure the smooth flow of trade coming in and our of the port for many years to come.”
The terminal’s 25th anniversary comes as European road haulage faces a deepening driver shortage which has placed increasing strain on the trucking industry.
Rail and barge services have been seen as part of the solution to build more resilient supply chains while also reducing carbon output.
A single train can carry the same amount as 70 cargo trucks, while a recent study conducted by the Center for Ports and Waterways (Texas) showed that barges can move a tonne of cargo 1,041 km with just under five litres of fuel consumed.
Trains can move the same amount of cargo 768 km while, in contrast, with the same amount of fuel, trucks can only move one tonne of cargo a total of 233 km.
DP World currently runs regular connecting feeder services from Stuttgart into the ports Mannheim, Gemersheim, Basel and barge services into the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam respectively.
The terminal also boasts regular rail connections to Bremerhaven and Hamburg.
DP World’s investment into Stuttgart shows its continued vote of confidence in the strength and resiliency of its inland network, and also helps to ensure it offers sustainable end-to-end solutions for its customers in Europe.
Nearly three in five (59%) of companies have increased their investment in making their supply chain more sustainable, according to the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics’ 2021 State of Supply Chain Sustainability report.
With a significant push toward environmentally-conscious transport options, DP World’s investment will further boost capacity at the terminal for rail and barge, as two greener modes of moving goods.
The continued demand for more sustainable and resilient modes of transport, such as rail and barge, is expected to act as an accelerator for technical development that will, in turn, make them more efficient as through the development of electric or hydrogen barges, for example.
Additionally, the shift will be matched with automation, digitalisation and electrification of the logistics industry which will help the sector to become incrementally more sustainable over time.