Markets and strategy
According to forecasts, the long-distance transport market will continue on its growth path in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. This assumption has been confirmed by the rapid recovery of demand as soon as the Covid-19 restrictions were loosened and by the Glasgow commitment to climate-friendly mobility on the part of many companies. Despite the intense intramodal as well as intermodal competition, DB Long-Distance intends to use attractive services to further expand the market share of rail. The proportion of the population living in urban metropolitan areas in Germany will have increased by 2050, making fast and direct connections between major cities ever more important. At the same time, the connection of people in rural regions to long-distance transport must be ensured.
As an integral component of the Strong Rail strategy, DB Long-Distance makes an important social contribution. In 2021 we continued to pursue our activities in this field. By adapting the project portfolio along the strategic areas of the Strong Rail strategy, we have continued to drive the implementation of our strategic targets. DB Long-Distance’s core identity – “Our drive: Connecting people, overcoming distances,” “Our mission: Best possible journey – together with passion and excellence,” “Our promise: Arriving by the time of boarding” – continues to be of central importance.
The central objective is to double the number of passengers to 260 million per year compared to 2015. This requires the expansion and stabilization of production, as well as the further development of attractive travel services. Through this objective, DB Long-Distance is making a significant contribution to the desired shift in the mode of transport towards rail and to tackling climate change. In order to achieve the objectives set for DB Long-Distance, measures are be-ing implemented in the strategic areas:
- More robust: In order to meet growing demand, DB Long-Distance is increasing the vehicle fleet and maintenance capacity of the depots. To achieve this goal, in 2021 over 30 new ICE 4 and Intercity 2 trains were commissioned and the construction of two additional new ICE maintenance depots in Nuremberg and Dortmund was approved. We also plan to increase personnel capacity by 2025. Recruiting and qualification and retention of employees have an important part to play in this expansion and in compensating for fluctuations and age-related departures. Recruiting is particularly focused on the rapid and qualified occupation of positions critical to operations and services, such as multiple unit drivers and train attendants. This is supported by the development of modern training measures and innovative learning strategies. We are also working continuously on increasing employee satisfaction, for example by improving work-life balance using innovative IT tools that give greater consideration to employees’ wishes during staff scheduling.
- More powerful: Our objective is to provide all long-distance trains with the highest quality and at competitive costs through improved processes. To increase vehicle availability and quality, production will be digitalized and optimized further. Innovative technologies (such as 3D printing and AI) will form the basis for rapid and reliable processes.
- More modern: DB Long-Distance aims to build a flexible, reliable and high-frequency long-distance transport network in line with Germany in sync. By strengthening the metropolitan network and increasing the number of connections between the regions, the target is to enable 80% of the population in Germany to have direct access to long-distance transport. We are creating attractive and competitive offers not only by expanding routes and increasing frequency, but also through shorter travel times. Our digital customer channels support our passengers during their journey. Passengers have been able to assert their passenger rights online since June 2021. At the same time, we are facilitating access to our system via the digital platform, offering modern and up-to-date journey support throughout the travel chain and establishing a personal service component through the hosting concept, making us sustainable and competitive. In addition, modern DB Lounges provide increased comfort at stations.
- Greener: As pioneers of green mobility in Germany, we see environmental and climate protection as a self-evident part of our work. Since 2018, we have been using 100% eco-power and supplying new maintenance depots, such as the Cologne-Nippes depotno. 48, with climate-neutral energy. Our activities are supported by additional measures for greater sustainability: for example we use microplastic-free hand soapno. 146 on board all long-distance trains, and we offer Fairtrade-certified hot drinksno. 67 and wooden cutlery for to-go products in our on-board restaurants.