News & Media
Hupac Intermodal Forum, Lugano – 7 June 2024

Transforming intermodal transport: innovations for the future of logistics

Once again, the intermodal sector met in Lugano to discuss the current market situation. And once again the focus was on pragmatic measures to improve the competitiveness of climate-friendly combined transport.


A great opportunity lies in standardisation and digitalisation, said Hupac President Hans-Jörg Bertschi. More than 25% of intermodal revenue from terminal to terminal is spent on people working in offices, with a lot of isolated planning and manual data entry in non-integrated data environments. “With DXI, we have taken an important first step towards standardised data exchange,” he said. Developed together with a dozen relevant market players, DXI is a neutral and independent data hub for machine-to-machine data exchange along the intermodal process chain.


“This positive experience raises the question of whether we could go one or two steps further, together with industry organisations such as UIRR, ECTA and ERFA”, Bertschi added. “We are ready to launch a sectoral initiative for broader standardisation in more areas of intermodal transport”, he announced.


Heiko Krebs, CEO of Kombiverkehr, underlined the long-standing cooperation with Hupac in developing joint solutions for the benefit of intermodal transport. He concluded his keynote by inviting the industry to use the DXI Data Hub to improve the intermodal logistics chain and to seize the opportunities offered by increased data availability and visibility. “Let's create industry-wide standardised processes and workflows together!"


Investments in terminals, intelligence and networks are key to a long-term growth path for intermodal transport, said Hupac CEO Michail Stahlhut. Productivity and agile solutions are the answers to rising rail costs and the unstable performance of many rail infrastructures. “For the closure of the Rastatt line in August, we have developed a bypass solution via France thanks to successful cooperation across the rail sector,” he explained. “However, the overhaul of rail infrastructure in many countries – especially in Germany – requires a specific approach to ensure rail freight capacity at a reasonable cost, even in the case of demanding diversions.”


Infrastructure is the key to the future growth of intermodal transport. Hupac is continuing its investment strategy in transhipment terminals. “Cologne North, Duisburg DGT, Piacenza, La Llagosta Barcelona, Milano Smistamento - until 2026 we will open one terminal per year together with our partners,” said Stahlhut. “These doors to intermodal transport will allow us to expand our network with new services.”


Shifting traffic from road to rail is an ongoing task, pointed out Peter Füglistaler, Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Transport. Switzerland has invested heavily in rail infrastructure with the Lötschberg, Gotthard and Ceneri base tunnels, the 4-metre corridor and terminal capacities in Switzerland and neighbouring countries. More needs to be done: promoting the development of access routes, securing capacity for freight transport, ensuring capacity in the event of construction work and disruptions, and keeping prices stable. “We want to give rail freight the chance to become sustainably profitable”, concluded Füglistaler.



Director Communications & Marketing
Hupac Intermodal SA
Viale R. Manzoni 6
CH-6830 Chiasso
+41 58 8558020