Project cargo on the train - ‘sometimes you need to remove some track posts’

Contrasting fiscal fortunes for DB Cargo and DB Schenker

Photo source: DB Cargo

DB Cargo, Germany’s flagship rail freight carrier, ended the 2021 financial year with a huge pre-tax loss of 481 million euros.

That’s the story from the latest annual figures of its parent holding company, Deutsche Bahn (DB), which says that the global pandemic remained a significant factor in its group performances in 2021.

The figures for the rail freight giant are in sharp contrast with the result of its logistics sister company DB Schenker, which recorded a generous operating profit of 1.2 billion euros in the past financial year.

Demand for rail freight rose last year, with DB Cargo increasing the volume of freight it carried by 6.3 per cent, and its sold volume was up 7.9 per cent. DB Schenker meanwhile saw the biggest upturn, generating the highest EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) in its history, doing much to help stabilise DB Group’s overall group position.

Dr Richard Lutz, CEO of Deutsche Bahn, said: “We need rail more than ever. Each freight train that runs, helps fight climate change. Companies want to shift more traffic to rail, and policymakers want to continue supporting this shift.”

To support his point, Lutz highlighted what has been the company’s largest scale relief effort in its history to help support people affected by the conflict in Ukraine. This has included transporting supplies to the stricken country via a ‘rail bridge’ – essentially an airlift by rail.

Author: Simon Weedy

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