Goods handled by rail rise by 26.6% to the highest level for 23 years

1.1 million tonnes of goods handled by inland barge and rail at bayernhafen Aschaffenburg

In 2014, shipments of wood and containers were particular drivers of growth.
In 2014, around 782,000 tonnes of cargo were handled by barge at bayernhafen Aschaffenburg
The inland barge link between Aschaffenburg and Mainz caused a significant increase in the number of hontainers handled at the container terminal at bayernhafen Aschaffenburg.

Aschaffenburg, 19 March 2015 - At bayernhafen Aschaffenburg, which forms part of the bayernhafen Group, a total of 1.1 million tonnes of goods were handled in 2014 by the more environmentally friendly modes of transport of rail and ship, an increase of 5.9% (previous year: 1.04 million tonnes). The volume of goods transported by ship (781,636 tonnes) was at roughly the same level as the previous year (787,502 tonnes in 2013). There was a considerable increase in the amount of cargo moved by rail: having already grown by more than 21% in 2013, it rose by a further 26.6% to 319,421 tonnes. This is the highest figure since 1991.

In 2014, the cumulative volume of goods handled by rail and ship was also better than the long-term average: with a figure of 1.1 million tonnes, bayernhafen Aschaffenburg handled 4.3% more goods by ship and rail combined than the average for 2005 to 2014, which was around 1.05 million tonnes per year.

The number of containers handled at the intermodal transport terminal continues to grow: it rose in 2014 by 153% to 18,642 TEU (1 TEU is a 20-foot container). The reasons for this are the container train line to Germany's North Sea ports and the inland barge link, which started in February, via Mainz up to the sea ports of Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp.

The total volume of goods handled, including by truck, rose by 10.2% to more than 3.5 million tonnes - a sign of the successful economic development of the companies that are based at bayernhafen Aschaffenburg and the customers in the region.

"Our aim is to move the shipment of long-distance consignments onto ship and rail," says Wolfgang Filippi, divisional director of bayernhafen Aschaffenburg: "By efficiently linking together the three modes of transport of rail, ship and truck, we want to offer our customers based at our site and in the wider region optimum links to the transport infrastructures and excellent transport services. To be able to deliver this, we are making specific investments in our infrastructue and in areas for development and we are committed to improving the integration of the port into the national transport networks. The purpose of all this is to transport more goods by rail and ship. The truck will of course continue to be used for collecting and distributing goods."

Inland barge scores points for its transport capacity

The extent of the modal shift becomes even more apparent if, instead of looking at the quantity of goods handled in tonnes, the transport capacity of the individual modes of transport is considered in tonne-kilometres:

For instance, according to information provided by the Research Information System of Germany's Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), in 2013 the railway in Germany transported its goods over an average distance of 303 kilometres, the inland barge over an average distance of 263 km, and the truck, which is responsible in particular for the precarriage and oncarriage legs of the journey, transports goods for just 97 km on average.

Wolfgang Filippi: "We calculated the tonne-kilometres in 2014 for the inland barge at the Aschaffenburg site: As the majority of barges travel to us from Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp, our average transport distance of around 503 km is almost twice as much as the national average. This means that we achieve around 394 million tonne-kilometres - and this is just for the inland barge."

Variety of goods at bayernhafen Aschaffenburg

The number one when it comes to goods transported by ship are mineral oil products accounting for around 262,000 tonnes, rocks and earth accounting for around 254,000 tonnes and coal accounting for around 108,000 tonnes.

The main factor responsible for the increase of 26.6% in goods handled by rail is the transshipment of wood (+30% compared to the previous year) for two customers - Europe's most productive sawmill at the port and the neighbouring paper mill. The increase in containers (+54% compared to the previous year) thanks to the container train line, which transports goods by container to and from the German North Sea ports four times a week, also had a positive impact.

The success on rail was also helped by the recycling business, whose handling of scrap iron, steel and other scrap materials (around 115,000 tonnes of them) accounted for the lion's share of the goods moved by rail (36%). For example, the recycling businesses at the port send the different types of scrap metal collected in the wider region by rail to the steelworks in the Rhine/Ruhr region, where it is melted down and then processed further to produce steel.

Sustainable investments in bayernhafen Aschaffenburg

bayernhafen Aschaffenburg sees itself as a site architect, an active facilitator for the development of logistics solutions and networks - across different companies and locations. For example, space is being created for new businesses and future-oriented industries to establish themselves and the position of the port as a hub for the international exchange of goods is being strengthened. It was only logical that in 2014 bayernhafen Aschaffenburg invested around 390,000 euros in the preparation of areas for business development and 800,000 euros in the modernisation of the existing infrastructure and business facilities.

In order to continue to be able to offer optimum links to new businesses and companies in the region, bayernhafen Aschaffenburg commissioned a feasibility study on the electrification of the port railway. The plan for 2015 is to make investments of around 2.5 million euros - in modernising the infrastructure and in a mobile transshipment machine for moving goods to and from barges.

Site development thanks to strategic land management

In the western port area, following the completion of the new power switching station the removal of the old station to the north of Waldfriedhof is well underway. Thanks to the allocation of the areas of the port for a fixed period of time, the land which is freed up can then be prepared for subsequent use: For example, from 2016 an area of 10 hectares will be turned into space for businesses to expand and for new companies to settle at the site. Thanks to this revolving use of the plots of land, bayernhafen Aschaffenburg guarantees a responsible approach in handling land, a resource which is in short supply. In doing this, industry structures are also modernised in a sustainable way and the available areas of land are utilised efficiently.

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