Kombiverkehr celebrates 50th birthday and presents results for 2018 at the partners’ meeting
Kombiverkehr KG celebrated its 50th birthday on 1 July 2019, marking the occasion with invited guests from the freight forwarding and logistics industry, associations, politics and business. Together they looked back over five decades of corporate history with a large number of impressive milestones. The first part of the event was held at the Frankfurt am Main (Ost) terminal, with the festivities continuing in an Offenbach venue the same evening. Highlights of the event included the speech made by the chair of the Administrative Board of Kombiverkehr KG, Gudrun Winner -Athens, the video messages from German transport minister Andreas Scheuer and environment minister Svenja Schulze, the addresses given by managing directors Robert Breuhahn and Armin Riedl and the founding managing director Hans Wenger on the birthday train, the film presentation “50 years of Kombiverkehr” and the interactive history exhibition. Sincerest thanks to all guests and wellwishers!
This year’s partners’ meeting of Kombiverkehr was held on 2 July, following the birthday event. The meeting was focused on the adoption of the annual financial statements, the development of services and new digitalisation projects.
With some 170 shuttle trains every day, in 2018 Kombiverkehr again operated the largest and densest intermodal network in Europe for switching transport from road to rail. By shifting truck consignments to rail, Kombiverkehr saved more than one million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The sales revenues of Kombiverkehr amounted to 425.7 million euros, with a net profit for the year of 865,919 euros. The number of truck consignments actually transported fell 2.1 per cent on the previous year to 937,837 (just under 1.9 million TEU). Managing director Breuhahn put the decline of 3.6 per cent to 200,000 consignments in the German national network primarily down to the again unsatisfactory service quality of the contracted railway operating company. Its punctuality rate had reached less than 70 per cent. The overall picture for international transport was similarly negative: the 738,000 consignments (1.5 million TEU) represented a 1.7 per cent drop in consignments transported compared with the previous year. That the decline was less than that recorded for domestic transport can be attributed primarily to two transport axes: with the northern European and Baltic states on the one hand, and with Benelux on the other (each up 12 per cent). According to Breuhahn, demand on both axes has continued to rise. In 2018 the products offered both via the Fixed Link and via the Baltic Sea ports of Kiel, Lübeck and Rostock were expanded.
Kombiverkehr suffered the sharpest decline in trains to and from France and Spain. Almost one in five consignments there returned to the road – a drop of 17 per cent. The primary reason was that a number of French rail workers' unions went on strike for two days a week from April to June. As the distances involved mean that our trains to and from Spain need more than a day to cover the journey through France, they were nearly always affected by at least one of the strike days. Even once the
strikes came to an end, customers only returned to rail hesitatingly. The strikes are thus having a lasting negative impact.
Consignment volumes between Germany and Italy, Kombiverkehr’s most important transport
destination, fell by 3.4 per cent in 2018. At 368,000 consignments, more than one in four transport
units still crosses the Alps, whether via Austria or Switzerland. The spanner in the works came from
serious quality issues that were not just caused by the rail operators: there were also extensive line
closures due to engineering works and storms. In August alone, the main route via the Brenner Pass
was again closed for two full weeks.
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