1 March 2022 | Passau

Successful premiere: Schwarzmüller transports trailers on the Danube to Passau

Trailer Sattelauflieger RoRo Rampe bayernhafen Passau

Highly satisfied with the first transport of Schwarzmüller trailers by inland waterway on the Danube (from left to right): Stefan Ring (Head of Technology and Operations, bayernhafen Passau), Daniel Hitzinger, Manfred Hitzinger (both Hitzinger Transporte), Josef Heiß (Managing Director BTK Logistik, Rosenheim), Alexander Rubchev (Managing Director Donau Star BG EOOD), Mag. Michael Hummelbrunner (CFO Schwarzmüller Group, Freinberg).

The end of February saw the first Schwarzmüller trailers travel by ship to bayernhafen Passau. The trailers were transported by road from the factory in Hungary to the port in Budapest where they were ‘rolled on’ to Donau Star’s ro-ro catamaran. They covered most of the journey on the Danube before being ‘rolled off’ the ship in Passau and on to their end destination. The successful launch of Schwarzmüller’s new logistics chain was the result of cooperation with its partners Spedition Hitzinger, the Rosenheim logistics specialist BTK and bayernhafen Passau. Donau Star BG EOOD has been operating a scheduled ro-ro service between bayernhafen Passau and the Bulgarian port of Ruse as well as other ro-ro-enabled ports on the Danube since 2015.

In the future, Schwarzmüller is planning to operate six to eight inland waterway connections per year.

bayernhafen’s Chief Executive Officer, Joachim Zimmermann, welcomes the new environmentally friendly transport chain: “I am delighted that the tried-and-trusted transport of trailers via ro-ro is experiencing a renaissance. Only when we use all available opportunities will we succeed in achieving the transition to greener transport.”



Find out more in the Schwarzmüller press release:

Trailers shipped by boat up the Danube

• New vehicle delivery successfully piloted
• Special transport undertaken using dedicated vessel type
• International expansion to neighboring countries on the Danube possible

Last Friday, 25 February, 35 trailers from Schwarzmüller’s Hungarian plant in Dunaharaszti arrived in the Bavarian port of Passau. They are the first delivery made along a new transport chain between the Hungarian site and the Hanzing Headquarter in the Austrian town of Freinberg on the outskirts of Passau. The pilot test will be followed by regular deliveries by boat, said Schwarzmüller Group’s CFO, Mag. Michael Hummelbrunner, at the unloading site in Passau. The new platform vehicles travelled about 575 kilometres up the Danube. First of all, lorries hauled them from the Dunaharaszti site to the port of Budapest where they were brought aboard the Bulgarian special-purpose vessel with a total length of over 100 metres. The cargo was “rolled on/rolled off” the vessel and not lifted aboard like a container. From the port of Passau, lorries hauled the trailers to their final destination in Austria and Southern Germany.

First vessel to carry new trailers up the Danube to Passau

This was the first vessel ever to carry new trailers up the Danube to Passau. After ten months of preparation, Schwarzmüller and its partners bayernhafen Passau, Spedition Hitzinger and Rosenheim logistics provider BTK were ready for take-off. At the end of a perfect premiere, BTK was able to welcome 20 new vehicles. Loading in Budapest was faced with a couple of surprises, though. One thing was that 40 instead of 35 trailers can be taken aboard. The other was that the Megatrailer won’t fit on deck and that such deliveries have to be continued on the road.

Obvious benefits

Schwarzmüller benefits from waterway transport in various ways. Moving off congested highways, a vessel on the Danube has a strict timetable and fits a lot better into delivery schedules, extending the transport time by only a slight amount. Transporting many vehicles by vessel replaces deliveries to distinct destinations which, all in all, reduces the carbon footprint. Bundled transport is also more economical. However, panning must meet stricter requirements: firstly, a sufficient number of orders for the target region need to be available within a narrow timeframe. Furthermore, tractors are required for loading.

New perspectives for practical implementationn

Schwarzmüller wants to start detailed tests of the new logistics module. “We don’t know yet where this will take us. We’re currently planning on six to eight vessels a year. Practical experience will teach us new perspectives”, says CFO Hummelbrunner. Schwarzmüller Group serves the markets of most riparian Danube states. The Group’s focal market, Poland, is also located within the Danube basin. In a couple of years, today’s trial shipment might well develop into a new international module of vehicle delivery.