Johannes Lager: rail connections have to be stable and cheap to prevail in Austria

Johannes Lager: rail connections have to be stable and cheap to prevail in Austria
Johannes Lager

National Sea Logistics Customer Care Manager in Kuehne+Nagel company and his views on the actual challenges in railway transport. held talks with several persons from the railway industry at the 48th congress of the INTERNATIONAL RAIL FREIGHT BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (IBS) e.V. in Vienna. Johannes has an experience not only with rail transport but he handles three intermodal kinds of transport.

„I am mostly dealing with sea logistics. As Austria is a landlocked country, of course, most of the containers have to come from the ports via truck or rail to Austria. Here in Austria, I would say that 80 percent or 90 percent of the volume is already coming via rail into Austria. The biggest import port for us is Hamburg followed by Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and of course also Koper and Trieste,“ he described the current situation.

According to him, most ports have a very good connection via intermodal rails into Austria. 

„What I see is that those ports that have the best and also the cheapest solution to Austria are the German ports and this is why they are still the leading ones for Container transports from and to Austria. From Koper and Trieste which are half the mileage from Austrian terminals, the rail connections are not as frequent and the price difference versus the truck is not as big. However the Southern ports are still very good alternative options for us but with a lower percentage via rail,“ Johannes explains reasons for rail connection is still not on the first place. 

Similar causes concern other ports:

„The same is for Antwerp and Rotterdam which are trying to get a bigger share of the Austrian market but the rail connections are not stable and not cheap enough and this is why they haven’t prevailed until now. But maybe this will change in the future because the whole market has changed not from how cheap is the transport to how reliable has it become. This might be a change factor driving the future development of rail logistics, and intermodal export sea logistics in Austria,“ he concluded the interview.

Johannes Lager started in the freight business more than a quarter of a century. Last 8 years he has worked as a Seafreight Manager at Kuehne+Nagel.

This freight forwarding company was founded in Bremen, Germany in 1890. Over the last 130 years, Kuehne+Nagel has evolved from a traditional shipping company to a global logistics house. ​Today, Kuehne+Nagel is headquartered in Switzerland.

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