Trailers shipped by boat up the Danube (VIDEO)

Last Friday, 25 February, 35 trailers from Schwarzmüller’s Hungarian plant in Dunaharaszti arrived in the Bavarian port of Passau. They are the first delivery made along a new transport chain between the Hungarian site and the Hanzing Headquarter in the Austrian town of Freinberg on the outskirts of Passau. The pilot test will be followed by regular deliveries by boat, said Schwarzmüller Group’s CFO, Mag. Michael Hummelbrunner, at the unloading site in Passau.

The new platform vehicles travelled about 575 kilometres up the Danube. First of all, lorries hauled them from the Dunaharaszti site to the port of Budapest where they were brought aboard the Bulgarian special-purpose vessel with a total length of over 100 metres. The cargo was “rolled on/rolled off” the vessel and not lifted aboard like a container. From the port of Passau, lorries hauled the trailers to their final destination in Austria and Southern Germany.

First vessel to carry new trailers up the Danube to Passau

This was the first vessel ever to carry new trailers up the Danube to Passau. After ten months of preparation, Schwarzmüller and its partners bayernhafen Passau, Spedition Hitzinger and Rosenheim logistics provider BTK were ready for take-off. At the end of a perfect premiere, BTK was able to welcome 20 new vehicles. Loading in Budapest was faced with a couple of surprises, though. One thing was that 40 instead of 35 trailers can be taken aboard. The other was that the Megatrailer won’t fit on deck and that such deliveries have to be continued on the road .

Obvious benefits

Schwarzmüller benefits from waterway transport in various ways. Moving off congested highways, a vessel on the Danube has a strict timetable and fits a lot better into delivery schedules, extending the transport time by just a little. Transporting many vehicles by vessel replaces deliveries to distinct destinations which, all in all, reduces the carbon footprint. Bundled transport is also more economical. Planning must meet stricter requirements, though: On the one hand, a sufficient number of orders for the target region need to be available within a narrow timeframe. On the other hand, tractors are required for loading.


Photo: bayernhafen Passau/M. Ziegler