Make way!

Press Release 24 Oct 2016

Contargo strengthens the rail element in its trimodal network  

Berlin, 20 October 2016 – Container hinterland network Contargo implements transport chains with several components to maximise the advantages of each transport mode. In the interplay between barge, rail and truck, rail is to play a more significant part in future. On the opening day of the 33rd International Supply Chain Conference of the BVL, the enterprise presented the measures it is adopting to strengthen rail transport within the Contargo Group.

“As a form of transport, rail is fast, safe and environmentally friendly”, said Heinrich Kerstgens, Co-Managing Director of Contargo GmbH & Co. KG. “We use it to link our hinterland terminals with the seaports, and on routes beyond the Rhine where barges are not an option. We also use rail as a flexible back-up solution.” Until now Contargo has carried out about 65 percent of its combined transport by barge; in future this will change: “In five years’ time we aim to be performing 50 percent of our transport operations by rail”, Heinrich Kerstgens said.

Additional scheduled rail lines

For this reason Contargo is strengthening the rail segment with additional connections. At the beginning of this year the Frankfurt-Rotterdam and Neuss-Rotterdam lines were added to the schedule. Three additional block trains have been serving the Basel- Rotterdam line since September 2016. Contargo now offers customers a total of 80 of its own scheduled trains per month, plus 76 partner-operated trains with slots available to Contargo. And Contargo plans mor expansion of its trimodal container network by adding more rail links in 2017.

Contargo’s founds its own rail transport company

To be in a position to enlarge its offer, Contargo founded Contargo Rail Services GmbH (CRS) on 1 July 2016. “We want to establish the new company as a high-performance CT operator in the intermodal road/rail sector”, said Michael Lückenbach, Co-Managing Director of Contargo Rail Services GmbH. “We will be consolidating and further developing Contargo’s rail network to offer our customers a comprehensive range of rail services, as a full service provider.”

The customers welcome this development: “We are glad Contargo is now offering fast rail connections at the same service level as barge and truck transports”, said Patrick Kockx, Director ILS Benelux (CMA CGM Group). “They are complemented by a full range of auxiliary services including empty container depots, maintenance & repair and customs clearance, and backed by Contargo’s extensive network of transport lines and terminals –everything from one source.”

Additional capacities at the terminals

For Contargo’s terminals to keep pace with growing transport volumes, some are being – or will shortly be – extended:

In Voerde-Emmelsum a new Contargo terminal is being built on an existing site located near the mouth of the Wesel-Datteln Canal. The terminal, due to be opened at the beginning of next year, has an area of 46,000 m2, together with a 300-metre quay and two rail sidings each 315 metres long.

At the terminal of Contargo Neuss GmbH, which was integrated into the Contargo network in 2013, a third rail siding is under construction and one of the existing sidings is being extended. When completed in winter 2016/17, the usable track length will total 1,439 metres and the terminal will have the capacity to process 18 trains a week.

At the container terminal of Contargo Industriepark Frankfurt Höchst GmbH, a crane runway extension and a second gantry crane are planned.

In Basel Contargo, Hupac and SBB Cargo have jointly founded the company Gateway Basel Nord AG, based in Basel, and are planning, in close cooperation with the Port of Switzerland, a large-scale terminal for import-export container transports in which both rail and barge will play an important part.

The Contargo terminal in the Hof Freight Centre will be enlarged to approximately 45,000 m2 and after completion of this construction measure, two portal cranes and two reach stackers will be in service 24/7, to support the rail link between South and Central Germany and the seaports of Hamburg, Bremen and Bremerhaven.

The aim: Synchromodality

By strengthening rail transport Contargo is not competing against itself; rather, it is trying to take transports off the roads and onto rail, and achieve more synchromodality, meaning that transport processes can become even more flexible, in line with Industry 4.0. Heinrich Kerstgens explains: “For instance, if there are free capacities and appropriate dates available, we can transport containers by train instead of truck, or divert loads from our barges to trains in case of flooding. Our aim is to be able – thanks to sufficient capacities and intelligent IT – to adapt our transport chains even during the transport itself.”

About Contargo

With an annual transport volume of 2.3 million TEU, Contargo is one of the largest container logistics networks in Europe. Contargo integrates container transport between the western seaports, the German North Sea ports and the European hinterland. The enterprise has 25 container terminals at its disposal in Germany, France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic and maintains offices at seven additional locations in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. The enterprise also operates its own barge and rail lines.

Image attachment


2016_10_20_PM_Contargo_BVL_EN.pdf View Download

Contact at Contargo: Heinrich Kerstgens, Contargo GmbH & Co. KG, Rheinkaistrasse 2, 68159 Mannheim, Tel.: +49 621 59007 184,

Water levels

22 Sep 2023

Kaub 122 -2 LWS
Köln 183 +8 LWS
Ruhrort 273 +6 LWS
Emmerich 112 -1

LWS information here

Energy surcharge

BAF Index


More Information here

TTFS Index


More Information here

Copyright © CONTARGO. All Rights Reserved.