9. August 2022 | Sustainability

Climate protection by rail - More DPD parcels arrive by train

Sustainability is one of the most relevant topics of our time. Never before has it been so important to look critically at our own actions and to establish new approaches for coping with the crisis and ensuring a secure future. DPD is also very much aware of this responsibility and has long been working on strategies for climate-neutral parcel shipping. As part of the [email protected] pilot project, since 30 May 2022 parts of our parcel volumes have therefore been shifted to rail. The first interim result is that emissions have already been reduced by an amount that would otherwise require 50,000 trees per day to absorb them. 

The CO2 reduction is already 2.5 tonnes per day, the equivalent of 50,000 trees that would otherwise be needed to bind the emissions. In this way we are making an important contribution to climate protection"

Anke Förster, Chief Financial Officer at DPD Germany

For the [email protected] pilot project DPD is cooperating with the service provider Kombiverkehr, through which existing rail routes can be used and individual swap bodies can be flexibly booked in. The first route, which has now been in operation for almost two months, runs between Hamburg and Duisburg. Goods trains depart from both locations almost simultaneously every evening. Each train is loaded with two swap bodies full of DPD parcels. Once they arrive in their destination city, the trains are unloaded by crane and the parcels are taken to the nearby depots. The indispensable framework conditions for the cooperation? "Reliability and punctuality are the most important parameters for us in our cooperation with the railways. Here we are still in need to optimize in order to be able to successfully implement the expansion of transport by rail", says Simon Nissen, Director Network Planning & Optimization. 

 Although the project has only been running for a short time, it can already be considered a success in logistical and environmental terms. "The CO2 reduction is already 2.5 tonnes per day, the equivalent of 50,000 trees that would otherwise be needed to bind the emissions. In this way we are making an important contribution to climate protection," explains Anke Förster, Chief Financial Officer at DPD Germany. Further routes and swap bodies are to follow in order to move even more parcels by rail in the long term. "Our goal remains to convert 5% of our long-distance transport to rail by the end of 2023. In addition to transport within Germany, we also aim to examine international routes." An important milestone on this path was laid recently: DPD now also operates on the Duisburg - Leipzig route with four swap bodies per day. On this route, in addition to further emission reductions, the focus is on maximum customer focus and tailor-made fulfilment of needs. For example, deliveries on the new section of the route are specifically for one DPD customer, enabling the receipt of all shipments already pre-sorted at the customer's warehouse in Leipzig. 

Further train connections are also planned between Lehrte and Nuremberg as well as Cologne and Munich (Erftstadt - Neufahrn).