Intermodal transport: Innovative transport and cargo handling technology from VTG and VEGA puts semitrailers on the rails
Hamburg, 08. February 2021
Modern transport and handling technology to support attractive and sustainable intermodal transportation: In collaboration with logistics provider VEGA International, VTG AG has developed a solution that enables normally non-craneable semitrailers to be handled with cranes after all. The purpose of this solution is to make sure that even semitrailers that were hitherto not suitable for intermodal transport can now be put on the rails, further reinforcing the modal shift and boosting the share of environmentally friendly transportation.
Successful test runs were completed in Tilburg, the Netherlands, where VTG customer and terminal operator GVT piloted VEGA’s roadrailLink (r2L) handling and transport technology and has now commissioned it for operational use. “One of our main goals is to further advance intermodal transport,” says Jakob Öhrström, Managing Director and Head of the Intermodal Center of Competence at VTG Rail Europe GmbH. “One important step in the right direction is therefore to make it possible to use cranes to lift what are mostly non-craneable semitrailers, thereby shifting more transportation onto the rails. Thanks to the innovative r2L concept from VEGA, we have now found the right solution.” In taking this step, VTG is once again underscoring its commitment to join with the whole of the transport industry in actively supporting the European Union’s climate targets.
r2L – Faster and easier handling at intermodal terminals
The new r2L handling and transport technology provides a cost-effective way to handle non-craneable semitrailers of any type. The fully galvanized carrier is a platform that can be lifted onto or off regular double pocket wagons using terminal cranes or reach stackers. The r2L carrier needs neither ramps nor other fixtures, so semitrailers can be lifted onto and off pocket wagons with ease. It is therefore ideal for use in terminal operations, as terminal capacity is not hindered by ramps. Fast loading time is another benefit: Loading takes only about five to eight minutes per semitrailer. Moreover, thanks to laser distance measuring, little human support is needed compared to other handling systems: The driver of the terminal tractor can use a laser measuring device to see the exact position where the semitrailer is to be loaded onto the r2L carrier without leaving the cab. Loading can thus be completed very quickly, very accurately and very safely.
Long-term cooperation between VTG and VEGA
To actively stimulate further efforts to shift transport from road to rail, VTG AG and VEGA International have signed a master agreement that will ramp up their successful collaboration with a view to providing no-gaps intermodal offerings. Vertical loading onto T3000e pocket wagons is now possible, so the r2L technology can already be used at more than 90 percent of all European terminals. Accordingly, VTG is now exploring the possibility of also launching the r2L transport and handling technology for TWIN pocket wagons.