Ecological yet economical

The IGS Logistics Group from Hamburg operates a well-developed network for intermodal transport. The company deploys a fleet of modern electric locomotives and wagons to transport by rail and uses the new container chassis eLTU70 for the last mile.

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he abbreviation IGS stands for ‘Intelligent Global Solutions’: The Hamburg logistics group offers an extensive portfolio of services – from the conventional to trailer transport and cargo – and a well-established intermodal network. “As their trustworthy and loyal partner, we want to support our customers and meet their individual requirements,” says Harald Rotter, Managing Director of IGS Intermodal Container Logistics GmbH. We are able to do this thanks to our wealth of experience, a well-developed terminal and yard infrastructure, professional material and, above all, our committed team.


IGS, a family business, was founded in the 1950s. By now, it is managed by two brothers in the second generation of the family: Jens Schreiner specialises in the technical aspects and vehicle fleets, whilst Olaf Schreiner is principally responsible for strategy and commercial matters. The next generation is also active in the company – IGS focuses on continuity. Today, the group offers its customers around 200,000 square metres of modern logistics facilities and handles around 500 lorries. With its 550 employees, IGS largely concentrates on two business areas: logistics and intermodal transport. For intermodal transport by rail, inland vessel and road, the company operates, among other things, its own rail network and container terminals as well as yards and trucking branches in Nuremberg, Munich, Aschaffenburg and Schweinfurt.
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“We want to purposefully shift transport from road to rail.”

Harald Rotter,
Managing Director of IGS
Intermodal Container Logistics GmbH


As a forwarder, the IGS Group organises the transport of cargo, including part and complete loads and temperature-controlled, throughout Germany and Europe. “The origins of IGS Intermodal lie in pure container trucking, which we have continued to develop,” explains Bernd Trepte, longstanding Managing Director of IGS Intermodal Container Logistics GmbH. He has been with the company for 37 years and was heavily involved in developing container logistics within the IGS Group. “At the same time, we have developed pure road transport. As demand has continued to grow, IGS has started to develop its own rail network.” Containers are transferred from rail tracks in conurbations like Nuremberg or Munich and then delivered within a radius of 150 kilometres, thus underlining the company’s aim to work in an environmentally friendly way. “We want to purposefully shift transport from road to rail, in order to offer our customers ecologically and economically advantageous transport, because that doesn't have to be a contradiction,” adds Rotter. “So, we use rail for long-distance routes and only use a lorry for the last mile.”
IGS has been involved in container trucking since its foundation and has continued to develop in this area.
IGS has been involved in container trucking since its foundation and has continued to develop in this area.


“A special feature of our network is certainly the fact that most of our container trains always call at two locations in the south, so-called triangle trains. So, for example, an import-heavy region such as Nuremberg can link up with an export-heavy region like Regensburg,” says Harald Rotter. When cargo is imported towards Nuremberg and there are perhaps fewer exports there, which are instead found in Regensburg, then empty containers belonging to ship companies can be taken to Regensburg where IGS can load for other customers, to then go back to the port. “For shipping companies, it is cheaper and more economical than collecting empty containers from the ports. It is particularly important to us that we operate quickly and flexibly. We can guarantee this speed and flexibility mainly across our own branches and via long-term contracting partners in the business centres we operate.”


IGS has been a Krone customer for over 40 years. “As a family business, we used to use a lot of our own equipment,” says Bernd Trepte. “We now rent most of our vehicles, but we insist on using chassis from Krone – and always the latest model. We drive about 400 chassis, of which 90 percent come from Krone.” IGS also uses the new container chassis eLTU70, which accommodates all sizes of container and is particularly stable; although its empty weight is low, it supports a high payload. It has different wheel bases through the mid-telescopic and front and rear extension, so that an optimal and legally compliant load distribution can be set for all containers. An extra-short wheel base position moves heavy 40-foot containers without overloading the drive axle of the tractor unit. Thanks to its compact rear and ‘Traction+’ technology, the eLTU70 gives a saddle pressure that is around 700 kilogrammes higher than comparable chassis when used flush with the rear of heavy 20-foot containers.
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“It is particularly important to us that we operate quickly and flexibly.”

Bernd Trepte,
Second Managing Director of
IGS Intermodal Container Logistics GmbH


The IGS team not only attaches great importance to the longevity and economic viability of the chassis, but also to its operability. “We rely on our drivers handling the materials with care. Driver-friendly operability greatly facilitates this. We therefore prefer racks that do not contain too many electronics because they are generally more robust,” says Trepte. This includes the eLTU70. “It is built to be practical and driver-friendly, and is functional and well thought-out. The key components are easily accessible in the workshop.” It is also very comfortable to drive and the chassis is easy to handle in everyday operation.


IGS was involved in the development of this chassis by giving feedback on individual, everyday requirements. Bernd Trepte explains, “It was about the details, for example, the positioning of the lights so that they are not damaged when approaching the ramp; container trucking, in particular, is a pretty tough business. And it is often these little things that make for good practical handling for us.” In future, IGS wants to expand on its commitment to sustainability. The company has ordered two hybrid locomotives through the railway subsidiary Hanseatisches Bahn Contor GmbH, which coordinates the shunting operation in the port of Hamburg. “Up until now, diesel locomotives from the 1960s have been used there, a great many of which can still be found on the railway in Germany as they are really rather durable and robust,” explains Harald Rotter.
In container transport IGS relies predominantly on Krone and uses the new container chassis eLTU70, among others.
In container transport IGS relies predominantly on Krone and uses the new container chassis eLTU70, among others.

“The battery-operated locomotives work with a diesel generator and with electric engines. The higher level of energy efficiency, currently, significantly reduces fuel consumption from between 24 and 40 litres with diesel locomotives to 8 to 10 litres for each hour of operation. It shows that economy and ecology do not have to be mutually exclusive. Although there is a larger investment at the beginning, it pays off over the long service life of the locomotives.” Another project in the port is reinforcing the topic of sustainability: IGS is involved with other organisations in a shunting cooperation. “We work together on the first and last mile by rail, sharing information with each other about free locomotive capacities and providing it to the partners,” explains Rotter. “This helps us to use the port of Hamburg’s infrastructure more efficiently because every trip, of course, means that a rail track is being occupied, whether there are 700 metres of wagons on it or not. We are competitors, of course. However, as we come from the freight forwarding world, it goes without saying that we also purposefully work together in day-to-day operations in order to avoid unnecessary empty locomotive runs and thus reduce emissions.”
Photos: IGS

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