Please enter your access details.
60 | 732
Current, Press Release, The Company
Kombiverkehr exceeds pre-coronavirus transport volumes in first half of 2021
  • 2020 financial year: only three per cent fall despite economic recession caused by pandemic

  • Quality of performance in 2020 must be an incentive for the future

  • Pro-railway policy decisions essential after Bundestag elections

  • New MegaHub transport concept and new route via Switzerland for even more climate protection

(Frankfurt/Main, 12 August 2021) Thanks to more frequent train services, a new route to Italy via Switzerland and new operating concepts via the MegaHub in Hannover Lehrte, Frankfurt-based Kombiverkehr KG is using the tailwind from the last quarter of 2020 and first half of 2021 in order to grow further. With over 470,000 semitrailers, swap bodies and containers transported by the middle of the year, the operator is well on track (+2.8 per cent and +11.5 per cent compared to 2019 and 2020 respectively) and has already exceeded pre-coronavirus transport volumes.

As in previous years, the company reported on the financial result and transport volumes at a meeting with its limited partners, which was held in a virtual setting due to COVID-19. In the past financial year, the customers of Kombiverkehr were able to save around one million tons of polluting carbon dioxide. This was made possible by 858,079 truck consignments transported by Kombiverkehr. Every day, its forwarding customers cared for the environment by shifting 3,400 road shipments onto the railway. The 114 full-time equivalent staff achieved sales of 397 million euros in 2020.

Transport volumes in 2020 financial year kept virtually stable
In the 2020 financial year, Kombiverkehr again offered its customers from the forwarding and logistics industries one of the most comprehensive Combined Transport networks to be found anywhere. With 170 direct trains a week across Germany and more than 480 trains serving international routes, the network boasts the best possible protection of the environment and maximum flexibility in terms of routes thanks to gateway systems at leading terminal hubs and synchronised ferry and ship crossings. By working closely in a highly competitive market environment with all participating service partners, first and foremost DB Cargo, the company was able to keep the network operating for the benefit of forwarders and carriers even during the difficult months of the pandemic.

In spite of the downward trend in the economy, a two-week weather-related closure of the Brenner line at the end of the year and strike action on the French national railway, the SNCF, the operator almost reached the transport figures for the previous year during the past year. With only 26,089 fewer transported consignments (-3.0 per cent), the volume of transport was kept virtually stable, totalling 858,079 truck consignments at the end of the year (one consignment corresponds to the capacity of a goods vehicle). Converted into Twenty Foot Equivalent Units, the number of consignments carried in the 2020 financial year came to 1.72 million TEU. The volume of freight transported on Kombiverkehr's trains was 20.3 million gross metric tons, whilst the average transport distance stayed the same at 825 kilometres and transport output at 16.75 billion ton-kilometres.

The consequences of the pandemic affected the individual market segments in which the company is involved in different ways. The international eu.NETdirekt+ network saw a slight drop of 1.5 per cent in the 2020 financial year compared to the previous year. Kombiverkehr carried a total of 693,021 truckloads on all cross-border routes, including services to and from German Baltic Sea ports, 10,742 fewer than in 2019. A particularly positive note was the upward trend in transport services on the bilateral connections between the countries of Germany and France, Poland and Sweden. Transport volumes on national Combined Transport services saw a disproportionately high decline.

A total of 165,058 truckloads were transported on the de.NETdirekt+ network, a fall of 8.5 per cent. "The trend in national and international transport echoed the general economic climate over the course of the year. After a weak start in the first half of the year, we almost managed to offset the loss of volume in the previous months with high double-digit growth rates in the last quarter. Alongside the economic recovery, the pleasingly high punctuality of trains over this period also contributed to the greater demand for national transport services," commented managing director Robert Breuhahn on the trend in volumes in the 2020 financial year.

Quality of performance in 2020 must be an incentive for the future
The quality of performance improved during the second and third quarters of the 2020 financial year, as the reduction in the frequency of departures in passenger transport meant that more resources were available for freight transport in terms of drivers and locomotives. Thanks to the high punctuality figures, intermodal rail freight was also able to prove its worth as a reliable means of transport, particularly across international borders, even under the difficult pandemic conditions.

Whilst truck drivers were held up at the borders due to tighter entry requirements or even had to spend several days in quarantine, Kombiverkehr was able to maintain its range of products in response to demand and run them on a reliable basis, which underlines the importance of the operator's systems. "As the economy has gradually picked up and volumes have increased, the quality of performance on some routes has now reached a level that does not meet logistical requirements in our view and, more especially, in the view of our forwarding customers. The quality of performance shown over the last year must remain an incentive for us to shift more freight onto the railway on a sustained basis in the future," stated Breuhahn, despite difficult conditions in exchange rates after a turnaround in this essential question. The increase in rail transport means that the shortage of capacity in terms of train drivers, rolling stock and terminals will once again become essential factors in addition to essential engineering works, all of which aim to make rail transport operate more smoothly. "The harmonisation of engineering works management at national and international level combined with advance information may provide for appropriate solutions. And we are still calling for more preventive measures to be taken in order to make the railway infrastructure more weatherproof. We remain in very close contact with DB Cargo and other railway undertakings for this purpose," added managing director Armin Riedl.

Pro-railway policy decisions essential after Bundestag elections
The climate targets have been defined: with the approval of the Bundestag to tighten the Climate Change Act, Germany has raised its climate targets and decided on binding emissions targets for the years up until 2045. Instead of being climate-neutral by 2050 as previously planned – in line with the EU Green Deal – this should now be the case five years earlier. "After the Karlsruhe ruling and its clear mandate for politicians to step up the pace of climate protection, we expect key policy decisions for the transport sector in the wake of the Bundestag elections. Rail freight transport and switching more goods onto the railways has great potential to lower CO2 emissions  on a sustained basis and at low cost. This needs a reliable increase in resources for the infrastructure and, above all, a clear commitment from policy-makers to set about changing the modal split and creating a level playing field for all modes of transport, particularly in the case of tax incentives. We are not asking to be treated better than road haulage, but not worse either. This is why we – together with industry associations and other partners – are in talks with the relevant parties to ensure that the most important points are anchored in the coalition agreement. In our opinion, an even stronger voice will be needed for rail freight transport in political debate in the future if anything is to be achieved," says Riedl.

New transport concept and new route via Switzerland for more climate protection
With an average saving of 80 per cent on emissions, far lower than those produced by end-to-end road haulage, intermodal transport can and must be a guarantee for meeting national and international climate targets in the transport sector. Thanks to the completion and start-up of the MegaHub Lehrte transport concept and the integration of new services to Italy transiting via Switzerland at the start of the year, Kombiverkehr KG has laid the foundation for an aggressive expansion of its network and for volume growth. Several national terminals were linked to the new rapid-transfer facility in Hannover Lehrte in April 2021. The second stage of expansion with more frequent services and direct connections to neighbouring countries are set to make the flexible product range even more attractive to forwarders from September. Additional volumes should be achieved with existing and new services on the Italy corridor with Benelux and Germany. "Mortara, a new terminal for Kombiverkehr situated near to the business metropolis of Milan, has been added to the network and is the perfect complement to the current services and routes to northern Italy. We see great potential for the future in these services. Kombiverkehr is doing everything in its power to protect the climate by simplifying its range of products and making it easier for the transport industry to get started with intermodal transport. We are currently supporting the latter with a special offer for new customers and practical advice on switching to multimodal transport, with the main service on the climate-friendly railway," said managing director Alexander Ochs.

Pressefoto Deutsche Bahn AG MegaHub Lehrte

Kombiverkehr continues to pursue its successful gateway strategy with the integration of the new rapid-transfer facility in Hannover Lehrte and hopes to carry forward the positive consignment numbers from the first half of 2021.

Photo: Deutsche Bahn AG

The press photo can be downloaded here.

2020 key figures of Kombiverkehr KG at a glance:


Total truck consignments transported


International truck consignments


National truck consignments


Total consignment volume in TEU
(Twenty-Foot-Equivalent Unit)

1.72 million

Savings in carbon dioxide emissions in metric tons compared with end-to-end road transport

1.005 million

Transport volume in gross metric tons

20.3 million

Average transport distance

825 km

Goods volume in ton kilometres (tkm)

16.75 billion

Sales in EUR

396.8 million

Employees (full-time)



The 2020 annual report offers an extensive presentation of the business results of Kombiverkehr KG. It can be downloaded from www.kombiverkehr.com > About Us.