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DB Cargo: Freight Belongs on Rail

Fast and sustainable solutions for transport businesses

It’s no secret that climate change will pose a direct threat to humanity in the coming years, should the pre-emptive measures necessary to change this be disregarded. While some companies are not fulfilling their responsibility to mitigate the risks of their industry’s endeavors, other businesses have embodied the transitional approach needed to avert such threats, based on sustainability and decarbonization. As a new generation of consumers emerges, with a greater interest and scrutiny into livable climate longevity, the need for sustainable strategies becomes both an environmental concern and a prime business opportunity. Embracing this shift comes DB Cargo, Europe’s leading rail freight transport company.

Already the company has solidly established itself as a leader in the rail industry: “DB Cargo AG is the market leader for rail freight transport in Europe. In Germany alone we have around 35,000 kilometers of rail network. We serve 4200 access points for this gigantic environmental network. These are shunting yards, train stations, rail ports, terminals. These are sidings directly at customers or in industrial areas.”, says Dr Sigrid Nikutta, CEO of DB Cargo. With a highly efficient core service in place, Deutsche Bahn is working to take responsibility as a large company for the effect its services have on the environment, and is pushing for more sustainable, greener practices. “Climate change and rail freight logistics transport have a lot to do with each other. Every ton that we transport by rail and not by road automatically saves 80 to 100% CO2”, says Dr Nikutta.

“Being an environmental pioneer is not just part of our self-image, but it’s something we actually live every day”, says Meike Hillenbrand, Sustainability Manager at DB Cargo. The company’s pursuits, revolving around being environmentally respectful whilst achieving effective transportation of goods, have led to a carbon avoidance of 7 million tons of C02 per year in comparison to alternative transport via roads.  

By making use of this ecologically friendly approach in conjunction with an extensive product portfolio, DB Cargo is able to seamlessly acquire and retain its customer base. However, DB Cargo is also committed to pushing forward the possibilities for its clients with new methods.

"Innovation is not an end in itself," says DB Cargo's Head of Asset Digitalization and Automation, Sergiu-Matei Burciu, "This means that we need to work on our innovations together with our clients." Such innovations include digitalization with an approach that is already showing results. “Digitalization means to absorb complexity away from the clients.” Says Burciu, “That is what I call intelligent simplicity.”

Outside of client-centric innovations, DB Cargo has its sights set higher, and is engaging with the potential benefits inherent to rail in terms of climate.

“The point is to increase the proportion of freight transported by rail. And I am very, very sure that the time for rail is now and that climate rescue will go by rail”, Dr Nikutta predicts. For sustainable networks that are characterized by area-wide, combining transports with the intelligent interconnection of truck and rail is essential.

With the future looking only to place more emphasis on the necessity to protect the planet’s climate, it’s likely other companies in the sector will attempt to emulate the successes that DB Cargo currently enjoys. Companies that simply ignore these activities or fail to implement their own will be susceptible to being left behind as more and more consumers demand that the businesses they interact with offer tangible evidence that they are being environmentally respectful to support the future livelihoods of coming generations.

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