31. May 2022 | Press release

DPD Germany launches rail pilot project: transport by train for a better carbon footprint


  • Goods trains carry DPD parcels between Hamburg and Duisburg
  • Rail is to become an integral part of DPD’s long-distance operations
  • Additional needs-based services and rail connections required


In future DPD parcels will also be arriving by rail: from 30 May 2022 goods trains transporting DPD shipments will run daily between Hamburg and Duisburg. As part of a carefully prepared pilot project, the company will gain valuable experience and gradually shift more of its long-distance parcel transport to rail. As the carbon footprint of the parcels transported will be significantly improved, this will make an important contribution to greater sustainability. The first interim goal is for around 5 per cent of DPD's domestic freight transport to be shipped by rail as early as next year.

"Our long-term goal is climate-neutral logistics,"

says Anke Förster, Chief Network Planning and Optimisation Officer at DPD Germany.

"In addition to a range of measures that we are already implementing in local transport and along the last mile, our focus is very much on long-distance transport. This is where alternative drive technologies on the road play just as important a role as rail."

DPD’s partner in the implementation of rail transport is the service provider Kombiverkehr. The Frankfurt-based company is backed by more than 230 freight forwarders and DB Cargo AG as limited partners.

Anke Förster states:

"Thanks to Kombiverkehr we don't need to fill a complete train, but can book individual swap bodies onto existing routes."


"In the round trip between Hamburg and Duisburg, each swap body loaded with DPD shipments will emit around one tonne less CO2 compared to pure road transport. This corresponds to a saving of more than 80 per cent,"

emphasises Björn Saschenbrecker from the Sales department at Kombiverkehr, adding:

"Intermodal transport will therefore bring DPD a good deal closer to achieving its own climate targets."


Every evening goods trains depart almost simultaneously in opposite directions from Hamburg and Duisburg, loaded with DPD swap bodies.

"The route is ideal for us, as our depots in both places are in the immediate vicinity of the rail cargo terminals," explains Anke Förster.

Nevertheless, because the switch means extensive changes in the company's internal processes, she adds:

"It’s precisely in this area that we want to gain experience. An additional means of transport means more complexity, and at the same time we want to make sure we keep our service promises."

It is helpful here that DPD Germany has already dealt intensively with the area of rail transport in the past and can now put this knowledge to use. According to Anke Förster, it is also an ideal opportunity to integrate the specific characteristics of rail as a means of transport into customer-oriented services:

"In the long term our customers will certainly have the choice of receiving their goods by the fastest possible means of transport by road, or with the greatest possible sustainability by rail."


With the project that has now been launched DPD Germany is also responding to the desire of the government to shift freight transport from road to rail wherever possible. Anke Förster comments:

"We’ll be happy to offer our experience as a partner in the discussion, and we can already say this much: it is advisable to specifically consult the business community on its wishes and interests, and to base customer-oriented services on this. If possible, we would very much like to quickly shift a much larger share of our freight transport to rail."



About DPD Germany

DPD Germany is part of DPDgroup, the largest international parcel delivery network in Europe. Throughout Germany DPD has 79 depots and 7,500 Pickup parcelshops. A workforce of 9,500 and 13,000 delivery drivers are in daily operation on behalf of the company’s customers. Every year the No. 2 on the German parcels market ships more than 400 million parcels – providing carbon-neutral transport operations at no additional cost to the customer. With a number of initiatives for sustainable parcel delivery DPD is demonstrating, particularly in city centres, how parcel shipping can be made environmentally friendly and emission-free at the local level.

Through innovative technology, local knowledge and dedicated customer care, DPD provides the best possible experience for both shippers and shoppers. DPD’s industry-leading Predict service is setting a new standard for keeping customers closely in touch with their delivery, with real time tracking of their delivery, a one-hour delivery window and a range of options for redirecting parcels. In recognition of this innovation DPD Germany received several awards like the Digital Transformation Award or the UX Design Award.

As part of DPDgroup, DPD Germany has access to over 70,000 Pickup points worldwide, and delivers to 230 countries and territories across the globe. DPDgroup’s 120,000 delivery experts work together to deliver more than 8.4 million parcels each day. The sole shareholder in DPD is GeoPost, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Le Groupe La Poste. GeoPost posted sales of €14,7 billion in the year 2021.

For more information, please contact

Sabrina Carolin Scheer

Team Lead Public Relations und Social Media