CargoBeamer AG®

CargoBeamer opens new rail connection between Cologne and Sète

Unaccompanied transport of semi-trailers expanded on the Franco-German corridor

The logistics service provider CargoBeamer has launched a new connection for the unaccompanied transport of semi-trailers by rail. The leading operator for intermodal trains has established a line between Cologne in western Germany and Sète in southern France since March. While trains will run on a two-rotation-frequency per week, semi-trailers, swap bodies and containers can be transported environmentally friendly on rail. Together with the intermodal service provider primeRail, CargoBeamer serves as operator of the trains, being responsible for their planning and dispatching. As the Danish shipping and logistics company DFDS acts as the sole customer, Cologne – Sète becomes be the first service dedicated to one client exclusively in the portfolio of CargoBeamer.

The slots on the trains are allocated by DFDS. Each train can carry 38 trailers on T3000 wagons. From Sète, an option to extend the transport by ferry across the Mediterranean Sea to Yalova in Turkey is provided. The French company Europorte serves as the traction partner for the Franco-German line. Europorte is a subsidiary of the Getlink Group, which also operates the Eurotunnel, the only rail link between France and the United Kingdom. By adding Cologne – Sète, both companies expand their cooperation after already working together on the unaccompanied rail transportation of semi-trailers between Calais (FR) and Ashford (UK) since September 2021.

CO2 emissions reduced by 85% compared to road transport

With the new service, CargoBeamer and its partners are enabling the environmentally friendly transport of goods on rail on yet another lane. Compared to road transport, the CO2 emissions emitted during transport between Cologne and Sète are reduced by around 85% per semi-trailer. As a result, 45,000 kg of greenhouse gases are saved with each train, which once again proves that rail is the transport mode of the future and will play a major role on the way towards climate-friendly logistics. Additionally, the unaccompanied transportation of semi-trailers, in which the driver and tractor unit do not travel on the train, also helps to relieve the rapidly increasing shortage of truck drivers in Europe.

Boris Timm, Chief Operating Officer of CargoBeamer, says: "We are very pleased to add another line to the CargoBeamer network with the Cologne - Sète connection. By establishing this service, which is specially tailored to the requirements of DFDS, we can once again expand our portfolio and send a strong signal to the market about how flexible our rail services can be. By having Europorte on board as a partner, we are now cooperating with three of the largest traction companies in the French market. Together, we are continuously working to create new and environmentally friendly transport lanes to make rail one of the most important transport modes of the future."

Picture: CargoBeamer AG

About CargoBeamer

CargoBeamer AG, headquartered in Leipzig, Germany, is an innovative logistics service provider in the sector of combined transport between road and rail. As a pioneer in decarbonizing freight transport in Europe on a major scale, its mission is to improve the environment with disruptive and cost-effective solutions to shift freight transport from road to rail. The CargoBeamer system, consisting of patented wagons, transshipment terminals and logistics software, enables all types of semi-trailers to be transported by rail, resulting in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions and other external costs. While semi-trailers account to 75% of all transport volume in Europe, only 5% can be transported by train due to the lack of technological systems to efficiently load and unload semi-trailers onto railcars, forming an addressable market for CargoBeamer of enormous size. Currently trains are operated in Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The company is working on realizing a European network of efficient CargoBeamer terminals, which will be connected in fixed timetables with trains consisting of up to 36 CargoBeamer wagons. This means sustainable rail transport for hundreds of thousands of semi-trailers per year, as well as significantly reduced CO2 emissions and relief for the environment and society.

Press contact

Tim Krause

Communications & Marketing Manager


T: +49 341 652339-19


Tim Krause

Communications & Marketing Manager
+49 171 3312918