EUROPE: DB Schenker Rail has launched a freight service carrying road semi-trailers between Köln and the Çerkezköy freight terminal near Istanbul. The journey time is five to six days.

The semi-trailer service follows the launch of DB Schenker Rail’s Germany – Turkey Bosporus Shuttle container and wagonload service in September 2013. ‘Our new rail product is the first rail connection that is able to transport semi-trailers directly to their destination in Turkey, 40 km outside of Istanbul. Up to now, this procedure was only possible with containers’, said Andreas Schulz, Head of the Intermodal Industry Sector at DB Schenker Rail.

The service is operated for Turkish freight forwarder Ulusoy Logistics, which has transferred its existing traffic from road and ferry to rail. Subject to demand, DB hopes to increase the initial weekly semi-trailer service to three per week by the end of the year.

The trains are operated by DB Schenker Rail's national companies in Germany, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, while DB Schenker Rail has a partnership with Lokomotion in Austria and works with national railway TCDD in Turkey. DB Schenker offers terminal and agency services in Germany and Turkey, and a simplified customs procedure to reduce delays at the Turkish border.

‘With our national companies, we already have a strong DB Schenker Rail presence in southeast Europe today. Looking at Turkey's position as a growth market, this is a clear advantage that we want to continue to develop in the future’, said Hans-Georg Werner, Head of Region East.