DB Schenker Logistics has added four new hubs in Europe for land shipments of cargo, including vehicles and parts, to Russia.

The new gateways, which are linked to DB Schenker’s network in Europe, are in Berlin, Germany, Krakow in Poland, Riga in Latvia and Helsinki in Finland. The company said they will facilitate additional transport of cargo to St Petersburg and Moscow and mean more departures and shorter journey times for customers.

DB Schenker already offers regular train connections from Duisburg to Moscow through its joint venture, Trans Eurasia Logistics, for the transport of containerised parts for VW and Skoda at the carmaker’s Kaluga plant. DB Schenker Rail recently transported its 1,500th container train there.

"The new structure is part of our sales campaign which emphasizes our special focus on Russia, the CIS states and the Baltic states," said Karl Nutzinger, member of the Board of Management of Schenker responsible for Land Transport at DB Schenker. "Our 22 locations, our own national distribution network with regular-interval traffic and over 800 staff members, make us the market leader in Russia. We are also very well positioned in the Baltic states."

DB Schenker said it was approaching around 10,000 customers in Europe about the new services, which include environmentally friendly services, such as short sea shipping and intermodal transport via Riga, where DB Schenker has a transshipment terminal to connect to Russian broad gauge.

Audi adds Eco Plus service
In other news, DB Schenker Rail has started moving vehicles for Audi on a second route from Neckarsulm to Emden in Lower Saxony on its Eco Plus rail service. Under the Eco Plus initiative, the German rail provider derives the electricity used to power the trains from renewable energy sources. The service was introduced by the freight branch of Deutsche Bahn as part of the parent group’s Climate Protection Program 2020, which aims to reduce its CO2 emissions worldwide by an additional 20% between 2006 and 2020.

Audi was the first carmaker to make use of the service when it moved the transport of vehicles between Ingolstadt and Emden onto Eco Plus back in August 2010 (read more here).

DB Schenker Rail Automotive transports over 90,000 Audi vehicles each year from Neckarsulm to Emden, which it said reduces emissions by more than 3,420 metric tons of CO2 compared with regular rail transport 700km route. Each year 150,000 vehicles are transported by rail from Ingolstadt to Emden.