DB Cargo focus on Iran
29/05/2017 - 08:53:00
Dirk Steffes, Head of the DB Cargo Intermodal Division, discusses opportunities in the Middle and Far East.
The central theme of the international “Multimodal 2017” conference, which will be held on 1–2 June in the Steigenberger Hotel in Hamburg, is the future of the supply chain between Asia and Europe. Representing DB Cargo, Dirk Steffes will discuss the opportunities he sees for the rail freight company in transcontinental transport. In his talk he will focus on scheduled transport operations between Europe and China, which present specific challenges such as the border procedures, multilingual communication and the conversion of wagons from the standard Central European gauge to the wider Russian gauge.
DB Cargo has been connecting East Asia with Western Europe for many years and intermodal trains cross China, Siberia and Russia on fixed timetables of just a few weeks. The volume of goods transported on the “iron silk road” is growing steadily – with a service that is faster and more flexible than sea, and cheaper than air. DB Cargo is now increasingly turning its focus towards new national markets, for example Iran.
With the international nuclear agreement of 2015, Iran has been brought back into the fold of the global market. There is a lot of catching up to do and the country’s growth potential is enormous. Until now, Iran has not been connected to the rest of the world via the traditional logistics routes. However, a land-based link to Europe is possible, as Dirk Steffes, Head of the Intermodal Division, will explain at the “Multimodal 2017” conference. “We are working with our customers to explore the potential of such a link. At the same time, we are conducting talks with the aim of strengthening a multimodal, rail-based connection between Iran and Western Europe.” The Iran link would represent a further stage in the expansion of the Eurasian network. The multimodal route could lead from Tehran via Azerbaijan and Georgia to the Black Sea, and on from there by ship to Constanta in Romania, where there is a connection to the rail network to Western Europe.