Trucks belong on rails

Imagine being broke one month on the 20th. The next month you'd be broke on the 19th, then on the 18th, 17th, 16th, and so on. This is how mankind manages the natural capital of our home planet. At the moment, we are exceeding the capacity of our ecosphere by more than 1.7 times. In calendar terms, July 28th is Earth Overshoot Day and the resource account will be depleted in 2022.

If at the end of all global resources, there is still so much year left, there is only one thing: we have to economise. Raw materials, energy and above all: CO2. Carbon dioxide accounts for 57 percent of our total environmental footprint. If we cut that load in half, Earth Overshoot Day jumps 93 days closer to the end of the year. The end of October? That's where it was last in 1986. A huge step into the right direction - but also a very difficult one for many industries.

What does this have to do with freight trains? A lot. Since each freight train replaces up to 52 trucks. And in the process avoids more than 80 percent of the CO2 emissions that would otherwise be generated during transport. Not someday, but today. Not just in heavy industry, but in all sectors of the economy: car manufacturers rely on rail for logistics just as much as technology companies, breweries and food manufacturers. Freight transport by rail has become much more flexible and versatile in recent years - and if DB Cargo has its way, that was just the beginning. With modern loading terminals, digitization and automation of operations, we can take many more trucks off the road - especially for the long hauls.

Our goal: to intelligently combine rail and road. Short distances from the customer to a rail terminal are covered by truck. There, the containers or even the entire truck trailer are loaded onto freight wagon. On the long haul, freight is transported by train. At the other end of the transport chain, they are loaded onto trucks again to cover the so-called "last mile" to their destination. The combination allows each mode of transport to play to its strengths: Trucks provide flexibility for the first and last mile, while rail ensures a good carbon footprint.

Because every freight train brings Earth Overshoot Day a little closer to where it belongs: the end of the year.