DB Cargo and voestalpine: Environmentally friendly supply chains for green steel production

26. June 2023, 17:00 o'Clock

Article: DB Cargo and voestalpine: Environmentally friendly supply chains for green steel production

Partnership extended: DB Cargo, voestalpine, and LogServ sign contract for the transportation of more than one million metric tons of steel and scrap • Transportation by rail to support path to environmentally friendly steel production • New freight cars developed to increase capacity by rail

Scrap is valuable as a sustainable raw material for steel production. Together, the steel and technology group voestalpine and Europe's largest freight operating company DB Cargo are increasingly focusing on a circular economy. The aim is the resource-friendly and energy-efficient production of high-grade steel. More important steps on the journey to environmentally friendly steel production are now being taken. These include shuttle services by rail between major automotive plants, the use of new lightweight freight cars, and the large-scale reuse of industrial scrap. The logistics partnership between DB Cargo, voestalpine and Logistik Service GmbH (LogServ) has been confirmed for another two years.

Pierre Timmermanns, Member of the Management Board for Sales at DB Cargo AG: "DB Cargo offers customer-focused solutions for the cycle between steelworks and the automotive industry. For voestalpine, we transport steel and scrap to various industrial centers in Western and Northern Europe on our European rail network quickly and with zero carbon emissions, thus supporting the move toward green steel production."

Wolfgang Mitterdorfer, Member of the voestalpine Stahl GmbH Management Board: "The steel industry is on the cusp of a major transformation process towards environmentally friendly production. Our goal is to substantially increase the proportion of recycled scrap. This will ramp up the steel to scrap to steel cycle (recycling)."

To transport more than one million metric tons of steel/steel scrap per year in an environmentally friendly way, DB Cargo is already offering innovative transportation concepts from the Austrian voestalpine site in Linz, which combine the speed of block trains with the flexibility of the single wagonload network. The freight trains run several times a day and are coordinated with the customers' production rhythm based on a just-in-time delivery and collection model. In addition to other shuttle services, prototypes of the innovative TransANT freight car model (an innovative lightweight freight car for scrap) which can transport a 15 percent higher cargo volume, will also be used in the future. By transporting goods by rail in combination with 100 percent renewable power on electrified routes in Germany and Austria (DBeco plus), voestalpine already saves the environment more than 42,500 metric tons of CO₂ every year. The common goal is to further reduce CO₂ emissions from transportation in the coming years.

The "Schwaben Shuttle" already transports steel from Linz to southwestern Germany and from there on to voestalpine's German and French end customers. Another example is the "Bayern Shuttle", for which DB Cargo, together with LogServ and CargoServ, the logistics subsidiaries of the Steel Division of voestalpine AG, was awarded the German Logistics Prize 2021. This jointly developed transport concept meets several customer requirements at once: Firstly, the supply of voestalpine with high-quality scrap for steel production. Secondly, the supply of high-tech steel for the automotive industry in a closed loop.

DB Cargo thus transports half a million metric tons of steel and scrap per year between voestalpine's plants and the automotive industry in southern Germany. Worth noting is the fact that, with a round trip, voestalpine in Linz can ship steel to three different locations every day and obtain scrap from three places of dispatch.

contract signing - f.l.t.r. sitting: Wolfgang Mitterdorfer (voestalpine Stahl GmbH), Katja Sander (DB Cargo), Markus Schinko (LogServ), standing: Johannes Abermann (voestalpine Stahl GmbH), Carolina Lasse (DB Cargo), Christian Janecek (LogServ)

About voestalpine's Steel Division:

As a global manufacturer of high-quality steel products, the Steel Division of the voestalpine Group assumes a driving role in shaping a clean and livable future. The division has set benchmarks in steel production with the current production route and is now pursuing an ambitious step-by-step plan to achieve climate-neutral steel production with greentec steel. In a first step, the Steel Division supplies each flat steel product in a CO₂-reduced greentec steel edition and is working on the implementation of climate-friendly production technologies based on green electricity and hydrogen. Renowned automotive manufacturers and component suppliers rely on the highest-quality steel strip manufactured in the division. The Steel Division is one of the most prominent partners to the European house, machinery and energy industries.

About DB Cargo:

DB Cargo AG is the freight transport division of Deutsche Bahn and the leading rail freight company in Europe. More than 30,000 employees are responsible for some 20,000 trains travelling through 18 European countries each week. DB Cargo's annual volume produced replaces up to 22 million truck journeys per year. In this way, DB Cargo already saves seven million metric tons of CO₂ a year with its freight trains.

Around 60 percent of transports cross at least one national border and thus operate on a pan-European basis. DB Cargo has more than 4,200 private sidings across Europe. With some 78,000 freight cars and 2,700 locomotives, DB Cargo operates Europe's largest rail fleet.