From steel to scrap to steel


From steel to scrap to steel

DB Cargo and voestalpine: Climate-friendly supply chains for green steel production

Whether in the automotive industry, pipeline construction or mechanical engineering, steel plays a vital role in our lives. But unfortunately it is a finite resource. Experts estimate that within 50 to 100 years, the natural supply will be exhausted. Added to this is the ever-increasing importance of reducing emissions in everyday life and in industry. A rethink is urgently needed, in which companies act together to shape the transformation process in the steel industry. In an important step, DB Cargo and the technology and steel group voestalpine have signed a contract for over one million tonnes of steel shipments and incoming scrap.

f.l.t.r. seated: Wolfgang Mitterdorfer (voestalpine Stahl GmbH), Katja Sander (DB Cargo), Markus Schinko (LogServ); standing: Johannes Abermann (voestalpine Stahl GmbH), Carolina Lasse (DB Cargo), Christian Janecek (LogServ); Source: LogServ

One example of this is DB Cargo's "Bayern Shuttle", which offers climate-neutral transport all the way from the steelworks to automotive assembly lines. With a round trip, voestalpine in Linz, Austria, can ship steel to three different sites every day and also receive scrap from three shipping points. Combining steel and scrap shipments in a round trip avoids empty runs and reduces CO2 emissions. Any necessary onward carriage by lorry is offset with CO2 certificates. This principle has now been extended by voestalpine, logistics subsidiary Logistik Service GmbH (LogServ) and DB Cargo to other shuttle concepts such as the "Schwaben Shuttle". There are also other direct shuttles to industrial regions.  

Win-win situation for customers and the environment

The jointly developed shuttle solutions meet several customer requirements at once. Steelmakers receive high-quality scrap needed for steel production, while the automotive industry is supplied with high-tech steel on fast overnight transit routes. "For voestalpine, we transport steel and scrap quickly and carbon-free on our European rail network to various industrial centres in western and northern Europe. This is how we are supporting the transformation towards green steel production," explains Pierre Timmermanns, Member of the Management Board for Sales at DB Cargo AG. Wolfgang Mitterdorfer, Member of the voestalpine Stahl GmbH Management Board, also recognises the benefits: "The steel industry is facing a major transformation process towards climate-friendly production. Our goal is to significantly increase the share of recycled scrap. The steel to scrap to steel (recycling) cycle is being bolstered significantly."

New wagons for more capacity 

The Bayern-Shuttle designed by the logistics specialists from the voestalpine Group, LogServ, CargoServ and DB Cargo has won the German Logistics Award from the German logistics association BVL. The concept has since been extended to other regions and is now being further enhanced with an additional innovation: a lightweight wagon for carrying scrap. These TransANT wagons can carry about 15% more cargo. This development reduces CO2 on two fronts by making freight trains more efficient and enabling the decarbonisation of the steel industry.

The video provides a glimpse of how the shuttle works and why it makes such a big contribution to sustainability.

Get in touch with our expert.

Christoph Heibach

Head of the Salzgitter/voestalpine team DB Cargo