Since 1 January 2020, DB Cargo Logistics has been using green electricity to transport production materials to the automotive giant's plants in Germany and Hungary. This shift entails constantly expanding rail-based transport and incorporating new digital and sustainability-focused innovations. The result is a milestone for the carmaker's inbound logistics: rail freight services for its vehicles' components are now completely carbon neutral. This applies to the rail links serving the Mercedes-Benz plants in Bremen, Rastatt, Sindelfingen, Hamburg, Kuppenheim and Untertürkheim, MDC Power GmbH's site in Kölleda, and most of the route to the Kecskemét plant in Hungary. Account manager Katharina Weiss is in charge of the undertaking and says, "We are delighted that some 270 lorry loads of material are transported by rail instead of on roads every day, and that these freight trains now even use electricity from renewable sources."
DBeco plus makes all this possible: DB Cargo identifies the energy requirements of a specific transport service and buys the equivalent volume of green electricity. Freight trains in Germany and Austria use renewable power generated exclusively from these countries' domestic renewable resources, with hydroelectricity being particularly important at present. This green power replaces the corresponding volume of traditional traction current mix. DB Cargo also promotes the growth of renewable energy and reinvests 10% of the earnings generated by DBeco plus, most recently in the construction of a hybrid power plant incorporating hydrogen. This way, DB Cargo's customers get to protect the environment twice over. DBeco plus is available on all electrified lines in Germany and Austria.
Martin Fildebrandt, key account manager at DB Cargo Logistics, says, "CO2-free transport plays a central role in carbon-neutral production plans, and it is only possible using trains. We offer our customers DBeco plus, the perfect product for achieving this goal. We have worked with Mercedes-Benz for many years, and as the lead logistics provider and a key player in the company's logistics chain, we have always focused real entrepreneurial talent and a lot of hard work on the network so that we can extend it by establishing new carbon-neutral locations."
Sustainability has always been an integral part of the carmaker's global production network. Reducing CO2 emissions at its more than 30 plants is one of the central pillars of this strategy, and the switch to carbon-neutral rail transport is an extremely important step forward.