GERMAN logistics company CargoBeamer, which specialises in operating European rail connections for non-cranable semi-trailers, has announced it is expanding its portfolio with a service for first and last mile transport of freight by road or drayage.

The drayage service will be operated as an optional add-on to CargoBeamer’s regular rail connections by providing onward road haulage for clients’ semi-trailers over parts of their journeys from the second quarter of 2023.

Cargobeamer says the intention is to make intermodal transport more accessible to both existing and new customers that are considering a shift in freight haulage from road to rail. CargoBeamer adds it will also allow transport companies to make optimum use of available lorry drivers during the current labour shortages.

The service will be offered regionally in the following areas: northern Italy, western Germany and the Benelux countries, northern France, southern France and northeastern Spain, and large parts of Britain plus Ireland. The service will connect all the CargoBeamer network terminals to third-party sites, warehouses and Ro-Ro ports in each specified region.

Initial test trials have already been completed on the Kaldenkirchen, Germany, - Domodossola, northern Italy, route where transport of semi-trailers in both directions has been extended by road to and from the Italian port of Genoa. Kaldenkirchen is located near Germany’s border with the Netherlands while Domodossola is located near Italy’s Alpine border with Switzerland, just south of the Simplon Tunnel.

CargoBeamer’s haulage service will be bookable either as a “single model” - where clients can request either a first or last-mile road connection for their semi-trailers, but not both - or a “rotational model”, where clients can book both first and last-mile transport or send semi-trailers on roundtrips between terminals and delivery locations.

CargoBeamer says all emissions from first and last mile road haulage will be covered by its carbon neutrality programme where emissions are offset using gold standard certificates.

“CargoBeamer has always pursued the goal of making intermodal logistics more accessible to road transport companies across Europe,” says CargoBeamer CEO, Mr Boris Timm. “By adding this drayage service, we are lowering another important barrier that especially held back small and medium-sized freight forwarders from shifting semi-trailers to rail. An integrated trucking service for virtually all types of semi-trailers lowers the costs of organising intermodal transport significantly and will allow companies with little or no road-to-rail experience to start using CargoBeamer for the first time.

“Our clients will also benefit from an increased throughput rate of units moved by truck drivers and a fully carbon-neural supply chain when using CargoBeamer.”

In 2022 CargoBeamer announced it was beginning production of its own intermodal wagons at a former locomotive factory in Erfurt, Germany, and expects to build 500 vehicles per year from this year.

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