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North Rhine-Westphalia Launches "LOG4NRW" to Shift Freight from Road to Rail and Waterways

North Rhine-Westphalia Launches &quote;LOG4NRW&quote; to Shift Freight from Road to Rail and Waterways
photo: DeltaPort / Public domain/North Rhine-Westphalia Launches "LOG4NRW" to Shift Freight from Road to Rail and Waterways
15 / 11 / 2023

North Rhine-Westphalia is ushering in a transformative logistics project, "LOG4NRW," with the maiden voyage of a container train setting the tone for a future with fewer trucks on the road. This endeavor, forged by a coalition of ports and railway operators in the region, aims to eliminate the need for approximately 27,000 truck journeys.

Departing fully loaded from Kreuztal, the inaugural train journeyed through Dortmund to Duisburg, where containers were transferred to a barge for Rotterdam. This twice-weekly rail service is a concerted effort to alleviate congestion and integrate a multimodal system that combines rail and inland water transport, a move endorsed by German Environment and Transport Minister Oliver Krischer as pivotal for both economic growth and environmental stewardship.

The "LOG4NRW" project is a strategic response to the pressing traffic and congestion issues plaguing the Ruhr area and South Westphalia. The outlined route links Voerde-Emmelsum with the Duisburg and Dortmund ports, culminating in Kreuztal, Siegerland. This rerouting is poised to provide significant relief to major motorways and the Sauerland region, thanks to the synergy between rail and waterways. Despite current infrastructure challenges, such as the inoperative port of Emmelsum Bridge, innovative solutions like water taxis have been deployed to maintain the flow of goods, underscoring the adaptability and resilience of the new logistics network.

The swift two-month turnaround from concept to execution of "LOG4NRW" signals a strong market need for sustainable transport alternatives, especially with looming toll fee hikes. Duisport CEO Markus Bangen and DeltaPort Managing Director Andreas Stolte emphasize the project's role in fostering a resilient logistics ecosystem through smart modal shifts, which substantially lower emissions. The initiative's success is also a testament to the collaborative efforts of partners in the market, offering a pragmatic solution to the transport transition. As Bettina Brennenstuhl of Dortmund Port and Christian Betchen of KSW Kreisbahn Siegen-Wittgenstein GmbH note, the strong interest from the shipping industry affirms the critical necessity of such multimodal transport solutions for the region's industrial logistics.