Answers to frequently asked questions
What if all semi-trailers were craned in the conventional way?
Modifying a semi-trailer for conventional craning is expensive, as special biting edges and reinforcements have to be applied.
This is at the expense of payload (200-500 kg) and also shortens the life of a trailer. All trailers also need separate authorisation for rail transport (codification or ILU code) and the risk of damage is high. Walking floor trailers simply cannot be craned.
Overall, the time needed for craning all trailers currently in use would be a factor that proves this idea is not feasible.
Can the CargoBeamer system help to achieve the traffic transfer goals set by the European Commission to shift 30% of freight traffic from road to rail?
Yes, CargoBeamer has the potential to get freight, which is mainly done with non-craneable trailers, onto the rails as any kind of trailer can immediately get on board.
Is the standardisation of the semi-trailer as a craneable semi-trailer the key to the success of continental Combined Transport?
No, the market trend has been towards standard semi-trailers for four decades.
Is CargoBeamer a special technical supplement to the Combined Transport provision in specific markets?
No, CargoBeamer is not a special supplement, but can be used as a standard, as the system transports standard loading units without special equipment such as for craning. Conventional freight with semi-trailers is not specific, but freight with intermodal loading units is specific, as it requires specifications.
Does CargoBeamer need even larger track profile increases than the current Combined Transport?
No, CargoBeamer works within the permitted track profiles. CargoBeamer wagons have met admission requirements for freight wagons in accordance with the ‘Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI)’.
Does the CargoBeamer load trailers horizontally or vertically?
Unlike conventional craning, CargoBeamer transships its pallets with the trailers horizontally all at the same time. The pallet is the adapter for the road-rail loading and can be transshipped vertically using a crane.
What % of all trailers are not equipped for loading with cranes?
At least 90% of all semi-trailers, MEGA trailers, silo and refrigerated trailers are not craneable.
Which trailers can be transported by rail via CargoBeamer?
The CargoBeamer system makes all trailers craneable, without modifications or extra equipment.
Are the semi-trailers more encumbered by CargoBeamer transportation than on the roads?
Quite the opposite. The transportation is extremely gentle on frames, brakes, axles, tyres and outriggers as the trailer is mounted on the pallet just like it is on a truck and the wheels don't move.
Can trailers in CargoBeamer pallets be used with conventional freight trains, too?
Yes, the wagons can be incorporated into any freight train.
Can trailers in CargoBeamer pallets also be transshipped in conventional crane terminals?
Yes, the pallets are craneable.
How much space do CargoBeamer terminals require?
CargoBeamer terminals are modular and incredibly space-saving. Where there's less space, the module works successfully using one side on only one parking track. The width of the module is then less than 16 metres. They are individually adaptable to the conditions.
How many staff members are required to operate a terminal?
In principle, they only need one member of staff to oversee the loading of pallets and to initiate the transshipment. The wagon overseer carries out the technical inspection just like for any freight wagon and checks the secure king pin connection of the trailers in the wagons. The truck driver can leave the terminal immediately after loading or unloading.
How much energy is required for the transshipment of a pallet in a CargoBeamer module?
1.2 kWh are used for loading and unloading the pallet with one semi-trailer.
How much energy does CargoBeamer save as opposed to road transport?
CargoBeamer saves approx. 63% energy as opposed to road transport.
How much CO2 does CargoBeamer save as opposed to road transport?
CargoBeamer reduces CO2 emissions by around 55%, that's more than half as opposed to road transport. Using one train and one year as the basis for calculation, CargoBeamer prevents around 3,500 tonnes CO2 from polluting nature.
I Is CargoBeamer environmentally friendly?
Yes, CargoBeamer is very environmentally friendly, because it reduces fuel and energy costs as well as CO2 emissions.
Is CargoBeamer affected by weather conditions?
CargoBeamer even works in extreme conditions such as heat, snow and ice, as it doesn't use any weather-sensitive technology. It is simple, robust and secure. Even strong winds such as in a crane terminal do not interfere with operations.
If a module fails in the terminal, does the entire transshipment come to a halt?
No. The modules work independently of each other, meaning that everything else carries on.
How long does CargoBeamer need to load and unload a train?
The CargoBeamer system needs less than 15 minutes to load and unload a whole 700-metre-long train with 35 wagons and up to 72 semi-trailers in parallel.
Do the CargoBeamer wagons need more maintenance than other wagons?
The maintenance and repair costs correspond to those of a conventional pocket wagon.
What is the cost-benefit ratio of CargoBeamer?
CargoBeamer has a cost-benefit ratio of 7:1, that's really good. Each euro invested in CargoBeamer results in a benefit of 7 euros – for you, for society, for everyone.