Deutsche Post DHL to move more parcels by rail

Thanks to an agreement between Deutsche Post DHL and Deutsche Bahn, up to 20% of parcels in Germany will be transported by rail in the coming years.

The agreement between the postal operator and rail operator sets a short term goal of increasing parcel transport by rail from 2% of overall volumes to 6%, with Deutsche Post DHL saying there needs to be significant improvement in rolling stock availability and infrastructure.

Deutsche Post DHL said in a statement that such improvements include, “faster freight cars for light goods transport, the expansion of infrastructure, better rail lines including high-speed routes, simplified processes for the construction and expansion of rail connections, and faster, more cost-effective procedures for loading from truck to train and vice versa.” The postal operator will install sidings at a number of parcel hubs to ensure quick transfer of parcels between rail and the network, though it does point out that the bureaucracy of doing such things can be frustrating and slow.

“The collaboration with Deutsche Bahn and the expansion of rapid, light freight transport by rail is an important element of our sustainability strategy. Our carbon emissions per parcel are already far lower than those of our competitors thanks in part to the progress we’ve already made in converting to e-mobility solutions in delivery operations,” says Post and Parcel CEO Meyer. “We want to build on this advantage and migrate long transport routes to rail traffic. This represents a further step toward carbon-neutral letter mail and parcel services in Germany.” 

Sigrid Nikutta, DB Management Board Member for Freight Transport adds: “Parcels should be transported by train, and we are working with Deutsche Post DHL to jointly develop a rail network. This is a strong alliance on behalf of the environment as each DHL train reduces the carbon burden on the planet by 80 to 100 percent compared with road transport. A single freight train can transport up to 100,000 parcels.”

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