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FROM OUR CORRESPONDENTGERMANY


hauliers can gain the relevant documentation in five days, according to Gisella. However, not all areas in Germany will be ready to adopt this system. “Small villages do not have the infrastructure for this yet, so you can only benefit from this in the big cities. “Still, there are infrastructure issues to


contend with and long waiting times; often the authorities are unsure of what roads you can travel along. Even after that process has been completed, there is a lot of ongoing construction work trying to improve the roads, which then adds to the issues of moving oversized cargoes along certain routes,” he explained. In 2005, Michelfeld-based heavy logistics


provider Kübler Spedition started planning liner services by barge to complement road and rail transport. Thomas Hoffmann, coordinator worldwide transport and projects at Kübler, said: “From three to four years thereafter, there has been a steady increase in the amount of cargoes we are moving by barge every year.” Capable of handling cargoes weighing up


to 70 tonnes, Kübler’s services using inland waterways are becoming more attractive compared with the perils of poor road infrastructure. From its trimodal terminal on the River Rhine in Mannheim, Kübler is able to execute shipments by road, rail and water.


MAN engines Currently, Kübler is handling weekly shipments of MAN engines using customised railcars. “This was a solution developed for the manufacturer,” said Hoffmann, “as MAN starts to move cargoes away from the road more and more. Now, 50-60 percent of MAN’s output is moving on rail.” Kübler has seen more enquiries about


using its fleet of railcars, which includes three ten-axle railcars, one 20-axle railcar and a 24-axle railcar, as well as units that were specially built for customers. However, Hoffmann explained that it still takes two to three years before clients and manufacturers move their equipment from the roads to rail. “Using a trimodal approach can cut


transport costs by half,” he said. “With rail in particular, you are able to leave on Friday and arrive at the destination on Monday. On the road, you are unable to execute heavy transport operations at the weekend.” As part of its customised solution for


MAN, Kübler has constructed special equipment for the railcars that is interchangeable with trailers used for the transportation of the transformers by road. This means that the combination can be assembled at a seaport or at the Mannheim


42 January/February 2019


The German government is trying to improve the permitting process so that hauliers can gain the relevant documentation in five days. – Dennis Gisella, Universal Transport


The transport of oversized components for the wind energy industry decreased in Germany during 2018, after the government cut subsidies for developers.


facility to move the complete components on road or by rail. Through its collaboration with MAN,


Kübler is demonstrating how a trimodal solution can work for other OEMs, providing a missing link to their transport solutions by using a river terminal combined with rail facilities. Despite 60 trucks leaving the Kübler


terminal with heavy components per day during the summer peak season, Hoffmann said that, in general, there are currently fewer enquiries for projects. He anticipates this slowdown will continue into 2019. “There was big hope for projects and


shipments of heavy and oversized cargoes moving to other areas, for example in Iran or other countries in the Middle East.


However, new sanctions have raised questions about this. Standard consumer trade will likely pick up in the coming 12 months, but any factories that support this have already completed their set-up so there is unlikely to be any cargo associated with this. “For investors, it is not really safe


anymore. This is not just with regards to the China-USA trade war, but also with ongoing geopolitical developments elsewhere, for example Russia and Turkey.”


Wind setback For Gisella at Universal Transport, the German market has also suffered a setback in the wind energy sector. “Transport of oversized components from the wind energy industry has continued to decrease in 2018 in Germany, as the government has cut the subsidies for the developers. We do not expect next year to be much better.” However, in 2019, Gisella expects the


transport of concrete and building structures to continue to be a good source of work for Universal Transport, as well as cargoes associated with civil engineering projects. From its branch in Nuremberg,


Universal Transport has been handling power generation equipment throughout 2018 and hopes that this will continue to improve in the coming 12 months. With the help of Zust & Bachmeier, part of the Universal Transport Group, the heavy transport provider has also been active in moving equipment for breweries from Germany to Russia. As German manufacturing remains


strong, Gisella said that Eastern Europe will continue to be a good market for cargoes exiting the country.


HLPFI www.heavyliftpfi.com


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