Stage

 A railport for (almost) everything

Railports are the gateway companies need if they would like to use the rail network to transport goods but lack their own private sidings. At its base south of the Bavarian city of Regensburg, haulage company Fichtl manages one of these railports and provides companies in a wide array of industries with customised solutions.

Saal an der Donau is a small town in central Bavaria. It has around 5,000 inhabitants – and a railport. Regensburg is some 20 km away, Ingolstadt approximately 50. But it is only 2 km to the port on the Danube in Kelheim. Saal is in the middle of Bavaria's car-manufacturing triangle. Well-known companies located in Regensburg, Schierling and Deggendorf manufacture tops for convertibles, components for conventional car roofs and a number of different finished vehicles. Two firms in Neustadt an der Donau also produce parts for automobile interiors and exteriors.

Alexander Zoppa is an authorised signatory at the Fichtl group. The railport is located on his company's property. "People shouldn't underestimate Saal," he says. "We're in a rural area way outside of Regensburg, so the prices we can offer are completely different to those offered by logistics operators based in the city."

Today, more and more companies are trying to improve their CO2 footprint. They are setting their own environmental goals and adjusting their logistics processes to enhance the reliability and security of their supply lines, something which often entails greater reliance on eco-friendly rail services.

Annette Wilms-Langer is part of DB Cargo's regional sales team in Nuremberg. "We organise door-to-door transport solutions for firms, even ones without their own private sidings. Lorries take care of first-and-last-mile connections. In Saal, for example, this is handled by Fichtl. Neither the dispatching nor recipient company needs to work out the fine details of their deliveries – we take care of all of that," says Wilms-Langer.

The Saal railport is ideally equipped for the logistics sector. With platforms measuring over 1.3 km in length, it has ample capacity for the longest block trains currently in use. The railport also boasts immense storage capacity, both outdoors and in covered halls, in addition to large loading areas and ramps. Forklifts for payloads of up to 8 tonnes and reach stackers can handle heavy freight and even entire shipping containers. Fichtl has its own storage facilities and equipment at Kelheim's port on the Danube as well. Additionally, the company offers customised, specialised services to its customers. "We repack freight, pick items, assemble orders, sequence deliveries, handle all labelling activities, oversee dispatching and even take care of returns," says Alexander Zoppa. Working in tandem with DB Cargo, he is always looking to increase the volume of freight which leaves his company's sidings.

According to Annette Wilms-Langer, "Firms know that DB Cargo can handle consignments of any size, including just a single wagonload. Our railports and multimodal rail access facilities can be found not just in Saal, but all throughout Germany. Anyone interested in our services should take a look at our interactive network map. Wherever you are, there's bound to be a facility nearby."

Contact:
Annette Wilms-Langer
Regional Sales for Central Corridor
DB Cargo AG, Nuremberg
annette.wilms-langer@deutschebahn.com