The Port of Kiel has introduced additional intermodal cargo services between Lehrte MegaHub from Kiel to Verona in northern Italy.
The trains are operated by Kombiverkehr KG, Frankfurt, and connect to Duisburg, Munich, and Ludwigshafen at the Lehrte fast transshipment facility.
The five additional train pairs, which began in September 2021, have a length of 540m approved for Alpine transit via the Brenner Pass, and each have 20 wagons for the transport of 20 trailers and 20 containers up to 30 feet.
The trains leave the north German Port of Kiel in the evening so that loading units in Lehrte can still change over to further destinations during the night.
In the opposite direction, containers and trailers from the various routes and the Hanover and Braunschweig economic area are loaded in Lehrte and then shipped on via Kiel to Norway, Sweden and the Baltic States.
The shipping companies of Stena Line (to Gothenburg), Color Line (to Oslo) and DFDS (to Klaipeda) offer daily ferry departures from Kiel.
There are also two weekly round trips with SCA Logistics to the Swedish south coasts (to Malmö and Sundsvall) and east coasts (to Umea and Iggesund).
Trains to and from Italy now have a direct connection to the Ostuferhafen in addition to the Schwedenkai, also offering direct options for onward transhipment to the Baltic States as well as to the Swedish south and east coasts.
Dr Dirk Claus, Managing Director at the Port of Kiel, commented, “The new connection via Hanover Lehrte now gives us the capacity that is needed for an even greater shift of hinterland transport from road to rail.”
The port noted that it is steadily increasing its unaccompanied cargo – without a driver or cab present during a crossing – unit output, improving the case to increasingly transport goods inland by rail.
Every year, more than 100,000 unaccompanied trailers and containers are handled in the Port of Kiel – a third of which are transported by rail in the port’s hinterland.
The connection via the MegaHub Lehrte will create capacities for the transport of 20,000 additional freight units.
Compared to transport via the motorways, rail freight transport reduces emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) by an average of 57 grams per tonne-kilometre during the pre- and onward carriage to and from the port.
On the Kiel to Verona route, this saves about 1.4 tonnes of CO2 per cargo unit with a load weight of 25 tonnes.
On the route to and from Italy, there is now a total of six weekly connections to choose from, five of which going via Hanover Lehrte.
Claus added, “Shifting traffic to rail is a declared goal of our Blue Port strategy and supports the efforts of the shipping industry towards more sustainability in transport. The new trains can save up to 28,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.”