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  • Writer's pictureFirst Port Global (FPG)

Duisport and CargoBeamer to deploy CBoXX

CBoXX is a high-volume rail container that can be loaded and unloaded by robots

Duisburger Hafen AG and Leipzig-based rail technology company CargoBeamer AG have entered into a long-term cooperation for more growth in rail/road combined transport.

One element is CargoBeamer’s automated handling system for horizontally transferring non-cranable trailers between road and rail, but this will be supported by robotised cargo centres and EV "last mile" distribution to urban centres and industrial sited.

Approximately three quarters of the freight on European roads is transported by HGVs with semi-trailers, 90% of which are not cranable, although, as frequently reported by WorldCargo News, CargoBeamer’s transfer platform can also be used as lifting basket and TX Logistik and CFL Cargo use the NiKrasa lifting basket on some corridors.

"Now we offer our customers efficient and excellent climate-compatible logistics chains from ramp to ramp on the basis of their existing vehicle fleet," said Duisport CEO Erich Staake.

The CBoXX concept from CargoBeamer AG
The CBoXX concept from CargoBeamer AG

Dr Hans-Jürgen Weidemann, CEO and co-founder of CargoBeamer AG is convinced that a game-changing transfer of freight from road to rail "can be achieved only with automation, parallelisation and digitization, and by addressing the huge market for tarp, reefer, silo and mega trailers of all types with innovative rail logistics products."

A CargoBeamer transshipment track can unload and load an entire train in 15 minutes, and within 20 minutes when the train has to be split on two tracks,” claims Weidemann.

As part of agreement, the Duisport Group will implement digital platforms for processing LTL and LCL shipments for its freight forwarder and logistics customers.

This method can work all the way to China, as the partners are relying on another innovation from CargoBeamer: the “CBoXX” - a high-volume rail container that can be loaded and unloaded by robots.

The ubiquitous sea container, which dominates the market and the transcontinental movement of goods, is optimised for maritime vessels and not for automated continental rail logistics, stated Duisport. CBoXX, on the other hand, will allow environmentally-friendly, but hitherto not very flexible, freight trains to connect to modern cargo centres and offer competitive unit costs especially in the flexible market for LTL/LCL shipments.

Duisport is already the leading hub for freight trains from China: Every week, around 35 trains from Chinese commercial centres reach one of Duisburg’s “logports” via the “New Silk Road”.

With the CBoXX technology, trains will be able to transfer additional ocean freight volumes to the faster rail segment using automation, rapid track changes at the Russian and Chinese border and the optimum use of volume and weight on the rail cars. “The land route using rail is not only faster, but also connects many urban metropolitan areas in China, Central Asia, Russia and Europe,” says Staake.

As a first step, the partners will shortly start transport routes using a CargoBeamer rail terminal for trailers, with Duisburg as the starting point and destination. At present, CargoBeamer rail cars travel on one of the Alpine crossing routes to Milan/Domodossola, although a CargoBeamer terminal is going ahead in Calais for Spain traffic over Perpingan and a system has operated for Volkswagen between Volksburg and Bettembourg, for onward transport to Spain.

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