Innovative transport and cargo handling technology: VTG and Lotras cooperate on intermodal transport in Italy

Hamburg/Saronno, 19. July 2021

- roadrailLink handling and transport technology enables semitrailers to be carried between southern and northern Italy for the first time

- Intermodal services to run from Brindisi, Lecce and Incoronata


With its roadrailLink (r2L) handling and transport technology already in place on other key lines in Europe, VTG has now teamed up with Lotras to do the same in Italy. The first Italian line using the new r2L technology has run from Brindisi to Villa Selva (Forli). The intermodal service will be scaled up quickly: Additional links are already planned for two further routes from Lecce and Incoronata near Foggia, in cooperation with several road haulage companies. “This is a big step forward. We can now use cranes to lift what used to be non-craneable semitrailers and thus move more transportation onto the rails," says Guido Gazzola, Head of VTG Rail Europe GmbH Sede Secondaria Italiana. “The new r2L technology is actively shifting transports from road to rail and could take as many as 15,000 trucks off the road.” CO2 emissions will be significantly reduced as a result, and the traffic situation will ease considerably for everyone, leading to less congestion and fewer delays.

"This cooperation is strategically important,” adds Armando de Girolamo, CEO of Lotras, “because it gives Puglia and the south of Italy a stronger position in the national logistical and transport system, bringing the south closer to the north. This innovative technology and VTG’s partnership with road haulage players to boost intermodal traffic testifies to the whole industry’s serious commitment to sustainable transport, environmental protection and safety.”


Innovative solution to drive intermodal transport

The innovative r2L solution for intermodal transport marks a significant change in Italy. As in the rest of Europe, the majority of goods in this country are currently transported in various types of trailers. Up to now, however, only around five percent of these trailers were suitable for intermodal transport within the EU. The r2L handling and transport technology changes all that, providing a cost-effective way to handle non-craneable semitrailers of any type. Even semitrailers that were hitherto unsuitable for intermodal transport can now be put on the rails, further reinforcing the modal shift. The r2L carrier needs neither ramps nor other fixtures, so semitrailers can be lifted onto and off pocket wagons with ease. It is ideal for use in terminal operations, where it takes only a few minutes to load a semitrailer safely and precisely thanks to digital and laser measuring devices.

The service is due to be rolled out in September 2021, with six weekly departures from Brindisi to Villa Selva and six departures in the North-South direction.


The initiative has been presented to Teresa Bellanova, the Italian Vice Minister of Infrastructures and Sustainable Mobility, some weeks ago who has shown a concrete interest and great support for this innovative business partnership as part of a continuous attention for the logistics and transport sector and in particular for the needs of the truck sector of the South of Puglia.

Contact Corporate Communications

René Abel, PhD
Head of Corporate Communications

Tel: +49 (0) 40 23 54-0

VTG Aktiengesellschaft
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20097 Hamburg