08.03.2021 - Denmark blocking

Due to an incident on January 22, 2021, in which a semi-trailer was not correctly anchored in its pocket wagon when crossing the Storebælt Bridge, the Danish safety authorities temporarily prohibited the use of semi-trailers on pocket wagons on the Danish railway network. Originally, the ban on intermodal transport with trailers was supposed to apply for two weeks, but was initially extended to an indefinite period. Technical investigations into the background and causes of the incident continue to this day.

The train traffic, which was supposed to run via Denmark in the direction of Sweden, has since been diverted and alternatively also handled via the port of Lübeck. As the largest multimodal transhipment point for Scandinavian transports, the port of Lübeck is ideally suited for combined transport and, in addition to synergy effects through the consolidation of various transport chains, also enables significant CO2e savings. The integrated "one-stop-shop" solutions from ECL are therefore an optimal alternative for reliable, punctual and safe transport from all over Europe to / from Sweden.

In addition, the incident triggered a heated discussion among the Danish authorities about the future direction of Denmark with regard to trailer traffic - especially on the wind-prone bridges over Lille & Store Belt. Although there is no official information from the Danish authorities regarding the duration of the lockdown or the future direction, the first information seems to have leaked. Tobias Behncke, Head of Intermodal Services at European Cargo Logistics GmbH, sees Denmark's future for trailer traffic as damaged and uncertain:

„CT-transports through Denmark have had to struggle with problems and failures for many years. The routing is very prone to interference, is regularly hindered by construction work and is also repeatedly restricted by the Danish authorities. In the latest incident, the king pin is the focus of the discussion. This is about the locking technology, which is in great demand due to the strong wind load. So far, however, all suggestions for technical modifications by the wagon adjusters have been rejected by the Danish authorities. The Denmark lockdown will appear to continue for a long time. Should trailer transport be permitted again at all in the future, there is a lot to suggest that the trains will only be allowed to pass the many wind-prone passages at a limited speed – probably 40 km/h – which of course has a strong negative effect on the total running time. Intermodal transport via the port of Lübeck would of course benefit from this, as we can offer fast, reliable, safe and, above all, much more flexible trailer transports. In order to be able to offer the necessary resources for this permanent system change, we have initiated a corresponding task force at the location.“

So the situation remains exciting. If there is any new official information about the current lockdown by the Danish authorities, you can find out more here.

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