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INDUSTRYINSIGHT more news at www.heavyliftpfi.com Tri-modal terminal set for launch


Kübler Spedition is applying the finishing touches to its enhanced tri-modal terminal, located on the River Rhine in Mannheim, Germany.


K


übler Spedition has invested heavily at its Mannheim terminal to enhance its ability to handle oversize road, rail and water shipments.


Thomas Hoffmann,


coordinator worldwide transport and projects at Kübler, said: “We will have a soft opening in June 2018. The first works and lifting operations are scheduled for June and July. We should be fully operational by the end of July at the latest.” During May, reinforced


concrete laydown areas will be put down. Inside the warehouse, which has been extended by 3,700 sq m, six cranes will also be installed – the largest of which can lift 500 tonnes, or 625 tonnes in a special configuration, said Hoffmann.


Key advantage


A key advantage of the new terminal is that assembly and consolidation services can now be offered to its customers. “One of the main customers we have for the warehouse will be MAN. We will bring ship engines and other products from Augsburg by rail to Mannheim. MAN will complete assembly and finishing at the terminal, before the engines are sent for export on our barge liner service,” said Hoffmann. MAN has already been delivering its 140-tonne engines to Kübler’s existing Mannheim terminal on a weekly basis for two years. “Other large customers, which we have had for almost three years, are Enercon and


www.heavyliftpfi.com


The extended terminal should be fully operational at the end of July 2018.


Max Bögl.” The former is a manufacturer of equipment for the wind energy sector, while the latter specialises in construction engineering. “We will also develop another indoor warehouse with cranes of up to 100 tonnes lifting capacity for other customers,” Hoffmann added. Construction of the terminal began in 2015 and the provision of tri-modal


capabilities has been welcomed by the market. “Customers can see new logistics possibilities that have not been available in the past.”


The well-documented deterioration of Germany’s road transportation infrastructure, and the shift from the use of police to private


One of the main customers we have for the warehouse will be MAN.


– Thomas Hoffmann, Kübler Spedition


escorts, are key reasons for the development of the terminal’s tri-modal capabilities. “Both reasons mean that road transport is even more unpredictable on costs, or even more expensive.”


Demand for rail He said that demand for oversized rail services is rising, although he conceded that the process to convince its customers to move on the rails has been a long one. “There are customers out


there that will have to change from road to rail in the next few years in order to deliver their pieces from the south of Germany to the seaports,” said Hoffmann. “Five years ago we were still bringing locomotives, with an approximate weight of 130 tonnes, by road from Munich to Mannheim in two nights. Today it is only possible to do it in five nights – so it does not make sense any more.”


He conceded that rail is less flexible in terms of rules and regulations, and that cargo


moves must coordinate with existing rail timetables. “Applying for a permit takes up to three months and it is valid for three months. It takes a bit more time, but it is more predictable.”


In the longer term,


customers will save money by avoiding the unpredictable extra costs that will invariably arise during road transport, while benefiting from a more reliable system. At present, Kübler is liaising with its customers to discuss the ways in which oversize loads can fit into the cargo envelope of the German railfreight network. “For example, we suggest to a customer and its engineers that if it can reduce the dimensions by 10 cm, it will fit in the rail system – then it will save costs on the transportation.” Once at Mannheim,


Kübler’s barge liner service connects to Antwerp and Rotterdam with a 36-hour transit time. Hamburg and Bremen can be called at on short notice, and further stops along the Rhine are possible on inducement.


May/June 2018


HLPFI 107


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