Markets and strategy
The year 2021 was characterized by economic recovery, although the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic remained noticeable. Rail freight transport came close to returning to pre-Covid-19 levels. As part of its growth strategy, DB Cargo has successfully expanded the range of climate-friendly rail freight transport services in its Europe-wide network and grown its customer base, primarily in the consumer goods and battery logistics sectors. This means that DB Cargo is making a significant contribution to shifting transport to the railway, and thus to the achievement of European climate protection targets.
With the Strong Rail strategy, DB Cargo is committing to its social responsibility and making a meaningful contribution to the transport and climate policy targets in Germany and Europe. It is DB Cargo’s goal to shift transport from road to environmentally friendly rail for its customers. This is in line with the guiding principle of the Strong Rail strategy, namely a shift in the mode of transport to rail for a sustainable climate and mobility transition.
The aim of the Strong Cargo strategy is to strengthen DB Cargoʼs position in the long term so that it can make the necessary contribution to achieving its goals. The action plan is designed according to the slogan “Europe needs a strong rail logistics provider. For the climate and for a sustainable economy.” In this way, DB Cargo makes a significant contribution to increasing the modal share of rail in the German and European transport mix, while also improving its own economic sustainability. The Strong Cargo strategy includes the following measures:
- A strong rail logistics service provider: To strengthen its market presence as a rail logistics service provider, DB Cargo systematically offers its customers industry-specific services in its customers’ supply chains. Logistics solutions have been developed that contain a rail solution at their core and that can be supplemented with additional modules, such as road transport, storage and other individual logistics solutions.
- Strong combined transport: DB Cargo will synchronize the operating activities already offered in combined transport and expand them throughout Europe. In close contact with its customers, DB Cargo will thus increase the attractiveness of rail services on the combined transport lines, thereby bringing more transport from road to rail.
- Strong single wagon transport: Single wagon transport is a central component of the growth strategy, and DB Cargo will therefore work in a focused way to develop the single wagon transport network, as a unique environmental feature, into a multimodal network. This includes setting up new express products for customers without sidings. In the medium and long term, the efficiency of the system will also increase with new technologies such as Digital automatic coupling and automated train formation yards.
- Strong service management: Service management supports sales and operational services in offering customers tailor-made, attractive services and thereby optimizing the necessary use of resources. DB Cargo combines the aspiration of being large, green and efficient with the goal of producing rail transport itself if an economic and qualitatively appropriate performance can be produced with its own resources.
- Further development of production: The management of national and international transport is being improved. The processes for the implementation of transport services will be consistently reorganized to follow a departure-to-destination rationale that focuses on better quality, simpler and more efficient management systems. In addition, DB Cargo will make capital expenditures in modern multisystem locomotives and new car technologies. Digitalization and automation will aid DB Cargo in offering its customers easier access to the rail system and more transparency about the shipment status, and will significantly speed up the processes in rail transport, i. e. train formation, car handling and maintenance.
- Strong European corridors: DB Cargo is established throughout Europe and is represented on the 13 major transport corridors. Along these corridors, DB Cargo is accelerating the development of quality and growth. Success factors include a high transport frequency with coordinated schedules, faster cross-border transport with multilingual train drivers, and fundamentally close cross-national cooperation.