2018 Integrated Report – On track towards a better Railway


Freight transport and logistics

With DB Cargo and DB Schenker, we are positioned in the freight transport and logistics market as one of the world’s leading logistics services providers. The demand for international freight transport services is rising further owing to the ongoing shift toward cross-border production structures and flows of goods and the continuing trend for the outsourcing of logistics services. We aim to make use of this opportunity to maintain and/or expand our excellent market positions. DB Cargo is Europe’s leading rail freight service operator, with a presence in all major markets. We use our own European production network for this. In this network, national and cross-border transport is conducted in a customer-oriented and environmentally friendly man­ner. DB Cargo is focused on the automotive, building materials, industrial and consumer goods, chemicals, iron, coal and steel, and combined transport industries.

DB Schenker supports industry and trade through global and integrated logistics, which involves land transport, worldwide air and ocean freight, contract logistics and sup­ply chain management. DB Schenker occupies excellent positions in the automotive, technology, consumer goods, trade fair forwarding, special transport and services for major sporting events.

German road freight transport: still posting above-average growth

German freight transport market
(% based on volume sold)

Growth rate

Market share





Railfreight transport





     DB Group





     Non-Group railways





Road freight transport





Inland waterways





Long-distance pipelines 





Total market



Figures for 2017 and 2018 are based on information and estimates available as of February 2019. The market share for each mode of transport has been rounded.

On the basis of initial, still preliminary assessments, the positive development of demand in the German freight transport market continued with a further increase in performance in its sixth year. In this regard, it is also important to take into account the statistical corrections performed in the specified period for road and rail freight transport due to the volume sold of trucks in Germany registered abroad having been previously underestimated, as well as due to the expansion of the reporting scope of the Federal Statistical Office of Germany for freight railways active in Germany. These adjustments have led to a deviation from the previous representations.

Above all, the sustained positive economic effects of robust domestic demand and further improvements in international trade increased the need for transport, which put growing pressure on available resources and therefore on the development of costs. The recent, significant rise in fuel costs also contributed to this.

  • Nevertheless, truck transport once again showed above-­­average development, including as a result of strong stimulation from expanding construction output.
  • In rail freight transport, there was continued growth due to the extended reporting scope. Alongside stimulation from the strong overall economic development, the railways also profited from a positive baseline effect following several weeks of closure of the Rhine Valley section at Rastatt in the previous year. Dampening ef­fects resulted from factors such as the continued decline in coal transport as a result of the energy transition, as well as portfolio adjustments by the energy producers, problems in the automotive industry, weak steel production, strikes in France and weather-related constraints.
  • The extremely low water levels had a crucial impact on development on the German waterways. In the late summer months performance fell by 40% at times, which led to a two-digit shortfall in full-year performance compared to the previous year.

International markets with growth in demand

International freight transport and logistics markets (%)




European rail freight transport (based on tkm)



European land transport (based on revenues)



Air freight (based on t)



Ocean freight (based on TEUs)



Contract logistics (based on revenues)



Figures for 2017 and 2018 are based on information and estimates available as of February 2019.

The positive developtment of the international transport and logistics markets continued, albeit at a slightly weaker level.