Press Release

Duisburg as a new hub: Rhenus Port Logistics organises handling operations to transport Ukrainian cereals

Rhenus Port Logistics Rhein-Ruhr is now providing a weatherproof port terminal and special loading equipment for grain shipments from Ukraine at Terminal 4 of the Port of Duisburg. The maize was previously transported to its destinations via the Ukrainian port city of Odessa. The rail transport through Ukraine, Poland and Germany replaces this previous route. On arrival in Duisburg, the maize is transferred directly from the containers into inland waterway vessels. By closely coordinating the arrivals of rail and shipping services, it is possible to ensure that the sensitive cargo is quickly transported to its next destination.

Rhenus Port Logistics is an expert in handling general cargo and containers and has a business presence at numerous German ports with its own terminals or offices or it is represented by long-standing partners. This is also the case in the Port of Duisburg by means of the Rhein-Ruhr Terminal. It not only provides sufficient warehouse capacity and special handling services, but also has outstanding multimodal connections with all modes of transport. Other parties involved in transporting the maize from Ukraine are the long-standing Rhenus partner and container logistics specialist Contargo and Rhenus LBH PartnerShip. The latter handles the ongoing transportation by inland waterway vessel. The rail services from Ukraine to Duisburg via Poland are handled by various rail service companies and finally by “duisport rail GmbH.”

A four-month analysis ensures smooth transport operations                      

Reloading the entire freight on several occasions is just one of numerous challenges along the itinerary. At the Ukrainian border town of Mostyska, the freight is transferred from cereal bunker wagons to standard EU bulk containers. At the Polish/Ukrainian border, the consignments are provided with special GPS tracking seals, for example, and these are then removed at the German/Polish frontier. Partners Rhenus and Contargo analysed the entire supply chain for four months before launching the first transport operations. In addition to having GMP+ certification to safely transport the animal feed, it has been necessary to coordinate all the customs procedures and arrivals of rail services and inland waterway vessels to provide punctual handling.

Plans to expand the cooperation scheme                             

“It has not only been essential to consider the current cereals market, but also the political circumstances in Ukraine and the transit and import restrictions for cereals in Europe when setting up the project; and repeated checks on the transport operations have been required to see whether they are feasible and cost-effective”, explains Michael Petersmann, Managing Director of Rhenus Port Logistics Rhein-Ruhr. As many as four block trains currently arrive at the Port of Duisburg every month. “We’d be delighted to be able to continue the handling services in Duisburg in the long term as an alternative to the previous route via Odessa. Expanding the transport services to include other cereal products such as wheat, rapeseed, sugar beet pellets and soya beans would be completely realistic,” says Marcin Czachorowski, the Managing Director and Project Manager at Contargo Intermodal Poland.

The partner-like cooperation between those involved at duisport rail GmbH and Rhenus Port Logistics Duisburg guarantees that the tipping device at the handling facility supplies the feed from the cereal trains and discharges it directly into the inland waterway vessels on time. The communications between the scheduling departments at duisport rail and at Rhenus Ports Duisburg are particularly important in this process to ensure that just-in-time handling services are provided for the block trains.  

About Rhenus and Contargo

About Rhenus

The Rhenus Group is one of the leading logistics specialists with business operations around the globe and it generates annual turnover amounting to EUR 7.5 billion. 40,000 employees work at 1,320 business sites in more than 70 countries and develop innovative solutions along the complete supply chain. Whether providing transport, warehousing, customs clearance or value-added services: the family business pools its operations in various business units where the needs of customers are the major focus at all times.

About Contargo

Contargo has one of the largest container logistics networks in Europe with annual transport volumes of 2 million TEUs. Contargo combines container traffic between the Western ports, the German North Sea ports and European destinations further inland. Contargo has 24 container terminals in Germany, France and Switzerland – as well as other business sites in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland. The company also operates its own shipping and railway services. More than 1,340 employees generated annual turnover of EUR 654 million in 2023.

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