Audi is using an intermodal a trailer-to-train service provided by Helrom for the movement of materials between its Ingostadt and Neckarsulm plants in Germany and its Györ plant in Hungary.

The block train connection between Regensburg in Germany and Lébény in Hungary consists of 18 wagons that can transport 36 trailers, taking 72 trucks’ worth of cargo off the roads. Combined with the supporting sustainable truck transport provided by Duvenbeck the service can save up to 11,500 tons of CO2 emissions per year, according to Helrom.


Helrom’s patented traler wagon’s enable barrier-free loading between road and rail

“Consistent decarbonisation is one of our central challenges in the supply chain,” said Dieter Braun, head of supply chain at Audi. “At Audi, we are pursuing a holistic approach to optimising the logistics processes between our suppliers and our plants. This project shows that we are also integrating innovative and climate-friendly solutions from partners in our supply chain.”

The service relies on the use of the patented Helrom Trailer Wagon, which enables barrier-free loading of all types of trailers from road to rail and back. The rail wagon opens up at the side and the decoupled trailer is shifted from the road into it. No loading terminals are required. Intermodal loading technology without terminals enables more efficient approaches to route planning, according to Helrom.

“By eliminating the need for special terminals for loading semi-trailers, we are integrating ourselves smarter into the supply chains, completely without detours,” said Helrom’s CEO, Roman Noack. “We are also faster and more reliable than previous intermodal transport.”

The train travels 1,000 km from Regensburg to Lébény and back in 24 hours.

The official start of operations was April 4, after a planning and implementation phase of less than 12 months.

The service fits it with Audi’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2050 and its Mission:Zero programme to reduce emissions in production and logistics. The carmaker said that its production sites worldwide are slated to be net carbon neutral by next year.