DB Cargo AG has come up with a system that allows type ‘Ea’ bulk wagons, mainly used to transport iron ore and coal, to also be used to transport steel coils in shipping containers for its customer Voestalpine in Linz, Austria, reducing costs and turnaround time.
After a successful test period, two wagon sets are now deployed in a twice-weekly shuttle service between Linz and Rotterdam. “This is an innovative concept that optimises wagon utilisation,” said Stephan Denzer, DB Cargo’s account manager, Industrial.
Iron ore is shipped from Rotterdam to Voestalpine, which discharges the wagons with grab cranes. The empty wagons are then shifted to Linz city port to clean the floor and sides of residues, and returned to the steel plant, where steel coils for export are loaded in 20ft and 40ft containers. Simply, two 20fts or one 40ft can be loaded in the wagons, which have a usable width of around 2.8m.
“The reload option is driving load-load traffic,” said Denzer. “Otherwise the wagons would have driven empty from Linz to Rotterdam.” The firm also believes rail has a key advantage, as waterways and roads can be affected by low water, flooding, congestion, etc.