Rail transport

On average, transportation by inland navigation and rail emits two-thirds less carbon dioxide per tonne-kilometre than by truck. In addition, rail transport makes a considerable contribution to reducing the impact of other air pollutants. (German Environment Agency – UBA)

Brief description

Using trains in transport logistics can make a major contribution to reducing road network congestion. These modes of transport are particularly suited when they can replace trucks on fixed routes.

Route planning is greatly restricted compared with trucks since they are tied to predefined loading and unloading points. Furthermore, scheduling requires longer lead times in order to compensate for delays.

When using rail transport, flows of goods should be bundled at the loading point in order to enable this mode of transport to achieve high levels of capacity utilisation.

Transport distance

  • over 150 km

Greenhouse gas reduction potential

  • Greenhouse gas reduction greatly depends on the relationship of rail transportation (main leg) to truck transportation (preliminary and subsequent legs)
  • Greenhouse gas reduction through rail up to 50 %

Transferability & challenges

  • High organisational effort

Requirements for third parties

  • Reliable freight forwarders required
  • Expansion of the rail network desirable

Do you have any further questions about this best practice?

We’ll be happy to help you at logistik@2grad.org.

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