Putting together a sustainable package

Almost 50 million people in Germany shop online every year. That's millions of parcels a day that are delivered by parcel service - and the number is growing all the time. A real mammoth task that the courier, express and parcel services (CEP) have to cope with.

Most of this is done by lorry. But if Germany wants to achieve its climate targets, there needs to be a switch to rail here too. This is why DB Cargo, together with Kombiverkehr KG, conducted a survey among its CEP customers to find out what is particularly important to them when it comes to transporting parcels by rail. Three of the largest German parcel services took part: DHL, DPD and UPS.

Protects the climate and helps combat the shortage of skilled labour

All services agreed on one point: climate targets are achieved more consistently by rail than by lorry. The CEP services saw the main advantages here in the avoidance of CO2, lower energy consumption and less traffic on the road. However, another aspect was also mentioned by everyone: the existing shortage of skilled lorry drivers. Switching to rail would help, as one goods train can replace up to 52 lorries.

Rail access in sight

DB Cargo and Kombiverkehr also wanted to find out whether parcel services are planning to connect their sites directly to rail transport in the future. According to the survey, the sustainability aspect plays a major role in the location planning of CEP services, but they tend to see opportunities in the equipment of their locations: for example, in the energy efficiency of buildings or plant transport. Conversely, they would welcome it if, ideally, the development of intermodal terminals were to focus more on their proximity to large freight transport centres in future.