Olaf Krüger: The single wagon system of the state railways is not competitive; the rail freight sector must develop a new product for single loads

Veröffentlicht am 19/07/2022

Co-founder of the INTERNATIONAL RAIL FREIGHT BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (IBS) e.V. and his views on the current challenges in rail transport.

Olaf Krüger: The single wagon system of the state railways is not competitive; the rail freight sector must develop a new product for single loads

In an interview with RAILMARKET.com on the occasion of the 48th Congress of the INTERNATIONAL RAIL FREIGHT ASSOCIATION (IBS) e.V., Olaf Krüger, co-founder of this organization, said that rail will become much more important in the logistics sector and the logistics world.

„We have a strong ecological development worldwide. The transport mode ‚rail‘ has significant environmental advantages that have not been sufficiently exploited so far. Moreover, the resources in road transport are not sufficient to cope with further growth, and the current lack of truck drivers and high energy prices limit the efficiency of road transport,“ Olaf explains.

In his opinion, it is possible to increase the product share of rail in Europe‘s land transport to up to 30 %. This requires the development of a new belt product for single loads that links high-performance regional terminals and also integrates remaining single-wagon transports to track-connected customers. This new product must be based on multimodality and develop new cooperations between rail and regional road.

„In general, we have four products in rail transport: economical block trains from siding to siding, continental combined transport, which is well organized, trains in seaport pre-carriage and on-carriage and many different products approach for bundling single loads in train systems,“ he says.

As far as single-wagon transport is concerned, Olaf Krüger is skeptical:

„In my view, the single-wagon system of the state railways is no longer economically viable and has already been discontinued in many European countries. Individual successful solutions of private companies are regionally limited and can only cope with modal shifts road>rail to a limited extent.“

An essential requirement for rail freight transport is the use of extensive resources to increase economic efficiency. This includes, among other things, own freight transport routes, the expansion of the rail infrastructure to high-performance corridors (longer trains with higher loading capacities), high functional multimodal terminals for train bundling as well as multivalent transport containers and wagons.

Olaf Krüger is a co-founder of the INTERNATIONAL RAIL FREIGHT BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (IBS) e.V., which was founded in 1996 and for which he was repeatedly elected chairman. Since 1992, Olaf Krüger was also responsible for the rail forwarding division of Kühne + Nagel many years. Before that, he was head of freight transport at the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR).

The IBS Association is an organization of rail forwarding companies and is currently formed by around 60 member companies from 16 countries. The focus of IBS is currently on the development of a product for the renewal of wagonload traffic, the development of the required terminals, and the support of digitalization.

Karel Novak

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