In spite of a difficult economic climate, Frankfurt-based Kombiverkehr KG, Europe’s leading provider of intermodal transport services, ended the 2015 financial year with the biggest growth in consignments of the last five years. The company carried a total of 978,095 truckloads or 1.96 million TEU in Europe’s biggest intermodal network – a rise of more than 53,000 consignments, or 5.8 percent. The company’s 147 employees achieved sales of EUR 446.6 million (+3.0 percent).
“The gain in consignments on all four international transport axes over the past year underlines our claim to be Europe’s number one operator with the densest transport network and stable partnerships,” managing director Robert Breuhahn told partners from the forwarding and logistics industry who attended the shareholders’ meeting in Frankfurt am Main.
Protracted strikes by train drivers in Germany, the low overall cost of road haulage just as the cost of using the railways is rising and the inadequate quality of service in the rail transport sector have all affected the activities of Kombiverkehr KG throughout the year, especially in the domestic market. As a consequence, the volume of national transport fell slightly last year by 1.0 percent to 201,703 truckloads (one consignment corresponds to the capacity of a goods vehicle) or 403,400 TEU.
However, Kombiverkehr more than made up for this by achieving a record result in international transport. The operator had recorded 776,392 transported containers, swap bodies and trailers or 1.56 million TEU in bilateral transport between Germany and 28 European countries by the end of the year. This is a significant increase of 7.7 per cent and, at the same time, the highest volume ever achieved in the company’s history in this market segment, which is growing ever faster and ever stronger.
The quantity of goods carried on Kombiverkehr’s trains rose by 5.5 percent to 22.7 million gross tonnes. An even more substantial increase was seen in transport output, which improved by 7.6 percent to around 18.3 billion tonne kilometres. On average, freight forwarding customers shifted nearly 4,000 consignments per day of transport in the form of containers, swap bodies and semitrailers from lorries and ships onto the railways over a distance of more than 800 kilometres, thus making a vital contribution to national and European environmental targets.
With a total of 413,936 consignments (827,900 TEU), transalpine transport continues to be Kombiverkehr’s busiest axis. During the 2015 financial year, 2.2 percent more consignments were handled on the Germany – Switzerland / Italy corridor, which has 232 direct train services a week. The volume of transport with Italy is distributed across three different lines.
With 221,664 transported consignments (+3.9 percent), the Brenner route was again by far the most important service during the last financial year, followed by the Gotthard/Lötschberg route with 127,746 consignments (+0.6 percent) and the increasingly important Tauern line with 49,959 consignments (+3.4 percent). In response to increasing demand for climate-friendly transport options through the highly sensitive alpine region, Kombiverkehr expanded capacity on both the Brenner and Gotthard routes during the 2015 financial year.
Following a slight loss in the preceding year, the volume of traffic to and from Eastern and Southeastern Europe was increased by 11.8 percent in 2015. Kombiverkehr shipped a total of 109,205 consignments, which equates to a volume of 218,400 TEU. Individual services in these countries varied widely in terms of progress, however. Whereas demand in the corridors with Slovenia and Hungary dwindled slightly, forwarding volumes in traffic with Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic were up quite substantially.