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The history of DB Cargo AG

A European network for rail freight traffic has developed from the previously exclusively German company.

DB Cargo AG, which was founded after the railway reform of 1999, initially only operated within Germany. Today, it pools all of Deutsche Bahn's national and European rail-based logistics activities. The history of DB Cargo AG is thus a history of increasing Europeanisation.

At the beginning of 2009, the company's name was changed from Railion to DB Schenker Rail. The company was renamed again, becoming DB Cargo AG on 1 March 2016.

DB Cargo AG purchased Poland’s largest private railway, PCC Rail, in 2009. The company has since been renamed DB Cargo Polska S.A..

The company expanded into Switzerland with the takeover of Swiss Brunner Railway Services (BRS) in January 2007. This subsidiary has traded as DB Cargo Schweiz GmbH since May 2007.

Green Cargo acquired a 49% interest in Railion Danmark in December 2007. This joint venture is called Railion Scandinavia A/S.

In January 2004, Railion Germany acquired a 30.07% shareholding in the Italian Rail Traction Company. In June 2004, Railion took on 95% of the shares in the Italian Strade Ferrate del Mediterraneo (SFM). From April 2005, the subsidiary traded as Railion Italia s.r.l.. At the beginning of January 2010, the company, which had by then been renamed DB Cargo Italia, was merged with DB Cargo Italia Services S.r.l., in which DB Cargo simultaneously took on the majority of shares. DB Cargo Italia Services S.r.l. is the second-largest Italian freight railway in terms of traffic and revenues.

On 1 September 2003, DB AG transferred its share in Railion GmbH to Stinnes AG (now DB Mobility Logistics).

In mid-2001 the Danish company Danske Statsbaner (Danish state railways – DSB) incorporated its rail freight traffic branch DSB Gods into the holding also as a 100 per cent subsidiary named Railion Danmark A/S. It received 2% of the capital of Railion GmbH, reducing DB's share to 92%.

The name Railion GmbH was adopted on 1 January 2000. Deutsche Bahn AG and the Dutch company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) incorporated their rail freight traffic activities into the company headquartered in Mainz as 100 per cent subsidiaries of Railion GmbH. DB Cargo thus became Railion Deutschland AG and NS Cargo thus became Railion Benelux NV. This company was subsequently renamed Railion Nederland NV.

DB Cargo AG covers the three regions East, Germany/Central and West. The regions are assisted with centralised functions such as Production, Sales, Finance and Human Resources. The subsidiaries perform business activities in the regions. They operate as full rail companies or as production companies, depending on market requirements.

West region:

  • DB Cargo UK – number 1 in Great Britain
  • Euro Cargo Rail France (ECR) – number 2 in France
  • Transfesa/ECR Spain

Germany/Central region:

  • DB Cargo AG – number 1 in Europe
  • DB Cargo Nederland
  • DB Cargo Scandinavia
  • DB Cargo Italia
  • DB Cargo Schweiz (Switzerland)
  • and another 6 production companies

Special companies in the Germany/Central region:

  • DB Cargo Logistics
  • DB Cargo BTT
  • DB Schenker Nieten
  • DB Intermodal Services

East region:

  • DB Cargo Polska – number 2 in the country organisations at DB Cargo AG and one of Poland’s largest private rail freight transport companies
  • Deutsche Bahn Cargo Romania
  • DB Cargo Bulgaria
  • Logistic Center Hungaria (LCH)

At a European level:

  • Sales support
  • Quotation planning in production
  • Asset management

Special network management is responsible for international and intercontinental traffic to Russia and China.