Like any coffee company, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) knows that coffee beans have to travel a long way. JDE’s beans are brought on ships to Hamburg or Bremerhaven while still green, then temporarily stored in Bremen. From there, the coffee is taken to a facility in Berlin for roasting, further processing and packaging of Jacobs and Tassimo products. Ever since 1993, the coffee has travelled by rail. “We recognised early on that transport by freight train offers tremendous time and economic benefits,” says company spokesperson Dirk Friedrichs, explaining why the company chose environmentally-friendly freight transport with DB Cargo. Transport by rail significantly reduces administrative burden while protecting residents near the plant in Berlin from the noise and air pollution of lorries constantly arriving and departing.
Lots of coffee, not much CO₂
2,321 freight wagons made the journey from Bremen to Berlin last year, each carrying two 20-foot containers. By using rail, JDE prevented some 5,000 journeys by lorry and saved the climate a whole 3,134 tonnes of CO₂ every year. In 2012, JDE began taking advantage of DBeco plus, which lets it run zero-carbon shipments. The use of green electricity saves some 460 tonnes of CO₂ compared with conventional rail transport. “We are taking on responsibility,” says Dirk Friedrichs. “In terms of environmental footprint, rail is the first choice for transport. This absolutely fits in with our sustainability strategy: our goal is to minimise our environmental impact.”
In 2013, JDE made the switch from block trains to single wagon freight. This let the company adapt its warehousing process and enjoy greater flexibility. Nine to eighteen wagons, depending on demand, are delivered daily. In Bremen, the wagons start from tracks at the ports. In Berlin, JDE even has its own private siding. That siding is operated by Industriebahngesellschaft Berlin (IGB), which also shunts the trains and maintains the yard. “It’s a very flexible solution for us,” says Friedrichs. “It’s environmentally friendly, economical and efficient.”