A lot of effort goes into getting the tracks, locomotives and the freight wagons into shape to face the winter, while daily operations keep chugging along normally (or, at least, almost normally) in locomotive cabs and dispatching towers. Customer requests reveal a noticeable spike in fuel demand that follows on the heels of the first frost.
Not only does DB Cargo winterproof itself, its reliable transports ensure its customers will be ideally prepared for the winter, too.
Tank wagons with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), for example. About 600,000 households throughout Germany harness this low-emission energy source to heat their homes. Given that volume, it comes as no surprise that DB Cargo BTT has spied a shift in its transport volumes: the winter months account for approximately 50% of annual cargo. From October to March, deliveries increase to any one of more than 60 receiving points for private households in Germany. Also, a large share of liquid gas transports are delivered for industrial use the whole year round.
For Nordsee Gas Terminal (NGT), DB Cargo BTT has reliably delivered to receiving points throughout Germany, from Bremen to Munich, since 2001. For Europe’s largest rail freight company, these fluctuations in volume are no sweat. DB Cargo also reliably transports large cargo volumes in single wagonload transport. Today, the company can serve even more sites. “Our network has become much more dense. Today, we can cover all the receiving sites for NGT from the North Sea to the Alps with our own service”, says Erik Koning, Senior Account Manager at DB Cargo BTT. DB Cargo drives over 2,000 tank wagons every year for NGT alone. Dietmar Möllenhoff, Managing Director of NGT, appreciates the advantages brought by DB Cargo’s single wagonload transport:
What makes all the difference is that our logistics partner is fully equal to the task of tackling the seasonal fluctuations endemic in our industry. With DB Cargo BTT at our side, we’ve had a skilled partner for nearly 20 years with the requisite expertise in transporting sensitive goods.
The liquefied gas that DB Cargo BTT distributes throughout Germany in tank wagons is first brought to NGT’s import facility in Brunsbüttel on ships. The liquefied gas travels through a two-kilometre pipeline from Elbehafen to the terminal, where an aboveground tank at an extremely low temperature (-42°C) and three additional pressurised underground tanks are provided for storage. An odorant substance is added to the gas (which actually has no odour of its own) before it is loaded into DB Cargo BTT’s tank wagons. That way the gas will trigger a perceptible olfactory warning should it ever leak.