Transport & Logistics - DB Schenker to Expand its Operations in Croatia

TransportRoad ♦ Published: September 3, 2013; 13:00 ♦ (Vindobona) ♦ Sponsored Content

Simultaneously with the accession of Croatia into the EU, and thus the abolition of customs borders between Croatia and the EU countries, Schenker positions itself on that market as a potential logistics partner.

DB Schenker to Expand its Operations in Croatia / Picture: © Schenker AG

During the last couple of years, DB Schenker has further strengthened its position in the South-Eastern European markets.

Simultaneously with the accession of Croatia into the European Union, and thus the abolition of customs borders between Croatia and the EU countries, Schenker positions itself on that market as a potential logistics partner.

Eight locations with 120 employees ensure on this 4.28 million inhabitants market with a 1777 km coastline the lead over its 3000 regional and international competitors.

The accession of Croatia guarantees for EU companies a significant facilitation of delivery transactions and investments. The need for adjustment in Croatia to European Union regulations provides numerous opportunities. Due to the abolition of border controls and perhaps remaining tariff restrictions, deliveries from the other countries of the European Union, despite intensified competition, continue to gain in importance.

Transport in Croatia is well developed and relies on several main modes, including transport by road, rail, water and air. Croatia is connected with Eastern and Central Europe as well to the rest of Europe. In most cases, it meets the EU criteria and safety standards.

Road transport incorporates a comprehensive network of state, county and local routes augmented by a network of highways for long-distance travelling.

Water transport can be divided into sea, based on the ports of Rijeka, Ploče, Split and Zadar, and river transport, based on Sava, Danube and, to a lesser extent, Drava.

Croatia has 68 airports, five of which are international. The country also has several airlines, of which the most notable is Croatia Airlines.

Rail transport is fairly developed, with dual track and electrification not very common, although high-speed tilting trains are used on some routes. However, bus still tends to be more common than rail as a mode of inter-city transport.

DB Schenker, which has been founded as Schenker & Co. by Gottfried Schenker in 1872 in Vienna, already has a dense network in Eastern Europe. In recent years, Schenker has expanded its services in European land transportation with additional regular scheduled services, new facilities and advanced technology.

DB Schenker in Vienna is the regional head office for South-Eastern Europe within the DB Schenker organization. It is in charge for Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldavia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. The company currently has a workforce of over 5,000 employees spread throughout the region.

The focal point for shipments between East and West is DB Schenker's hub in Salzburg, which has started operations 3 years ago. The facility has 125 loading bays and includes technology for tracking consignments in the cross-docking system. A private siding provides a direct link between road and rail.

In 2010, DB Schenker has moved its Croatian operations into a new 2,500 sq meters facility in Zagreb. This hub is TAPA-A certified. It includes a bonded warehouse and customs office and the operator’s eight branch offices in the country are managed from there. This hub is an important milestone in Croatia. It is fully integrated in the European and global network and enables DB Schenker to provide smooth services at a consistent level from a single source. It enables DB Schenker to connect to all countries of former Yugoslavia, including Kosovo.

"Accession to the EU ushers in Croatia a new time period. In this regard, central European businesses can also benefit. The elimination of customs barriers is the right opportunity to review your logistics with Croatia on efficiency, speed and safety." says Wolfgang Schmid, Head of Marketing & Sales of Schenker & Co AG Austria and South-East-Europe.

A DB Schenker terminal in Sofia, Bulgaria, has also started operations. The facility covers an area of 5,000 square meters, has 30 loading bays, and is equipped with new security technology and fire safety systems. It also has two private sidings with a total length of around 220 meters.

In Romania, DB Schenker Romtrans has set up a less-than-truckload (LTL) network that meets European quality standards. Of the 10 main branch offices and around 70 local offices operated by DB Schenker Romtrans, the locations in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Arad and Iasi are integrated into the LTL system via the central hub in Brasov. The network is designed to ensure that LTL consignments picked up before 3 pm will be delivered the followed day to most of the economic centers in Romania.

Road Transport

Road transport in Croatia is quite good developed and most of the visitors come through this way. Croatia has more than 2,000 km of highways, which reach all areas in Croatia. As a result, it is possible to get to any part of Croatia in 5 or 6 hours. All the highways meet the European safety and construction standard, as most of them were recently built.

The highlight of Croatia's recent infrastructure developments is its rapidly developed motorway network, largely built in the late 1990s and especially in the 2000s (decade). By July 2013, Croatia had completed more than 1,200 kilometers (740 miles) of motorways, connecting Zagreb to most other regions and following various European routes and four Pan-European corridors. The busiest motorways are the A1, connecting Zagreb to Split and the A3, passing east west through northwest Croatia and Slavonia. A widespread network of state roads in Croatia acts as motorway feeder roads while connecting all major settlements in the country. The high quality and safety levels of the Croatian motorway network were tested and confirmed by several EuroTAP and EuroTest programs.

Road transportation compared to total transportation counts for 60 to 70 percent. Half of these services are provided by foreign companies, of which DB SCHENKER doo claims a considerable share.

Other local and international logistics service providers are: Agit doo, Bacani-Transporti doo, Cargo As doo, Cetra dd, Cobra Trans doo, Crokombi doo, Dalu doo, Gebrüder Weiss doo, Hudek-Mega Trans doo, Intercargo doo, Jadroagent dd, Klanatrans doo, Kos Transporti doo, Krapina-Šped doo, Kühne & Nagel doo, Lagermax Aed Croatia doo, Leopold doo, M. Ttransport I Otpremnistvo, Mza- Transporti doo, Primacotrans doo, Promet-L.T.M. doo, Ralu Logistika doo, Renato P.P. doo, Savatours doo, Spedtrans World doo, Spoljar-Transport doo, TGT Tero doo, Transped dd, Transport-Javoric doo, Trast dd, Trgosped doo, Trgotransprigorje doo, V.S.T. doo, Velebit-Promet doo, Viator & Vektor Zagreb doo, Zagreb Prijevoz doo and Zagrebtrans doo.

Rail Transport

Croatia has an extensive rail network spanning 2,722 kilometers (1,691 miles), including 985 kilometers (612 miles) of electrified railways and 254 kilometers (158 miles) of double track railways. The most significant railways in Croatia are found within the Pan-European transport corridors Vb and X connecting Rijeka to Budapest and Ljubljana to Belgrade, both via Zagreb. Croatian Railways operate all rail services.

The railway sector is hugely underdeveloped, because it has not received major maintenance in the last 50 years. As a result, most of the trains run at the maximum speed of 40 km/hr, which is very slow for nowadays necessities and does not offer an attractive way to transport goods and attract more foreign investment. However, minor improvements have been achieved in some railways and the newest ones allow a speed of 160 km/hr. The company that operates the railways is HŽ Croatian Railways, which does not receive any State subsides, except HŽ Infrastructure.

Air Transport & Airports

There are international airports in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka, Osijek and Pula. Croatia complies with International Civil Aviation Organization aviation safety standards and the Federal Aviation Administration upgraded it to Category 1 rating.

The air transport sector in Croatia is good, but not all the companies fly yet to Croatia the whole year. Many companies, e.g. Lufthansa, make direct flights to Croatia during the summer period and currently some low cost companies, e.g. Wizz Air, are flying to Zagreb at very low prices. Recently, many companies started more frequent direct flights to Croatia. The leading company in Croatia is Croatian Airlines, with a wide range of services for the national and international markets. This company covers the main national and several international destinations. The number of passengers per year is around 4 million. Competition does not exist, because Croatian Airlines is a monopoly and controls the whole the market. In spite of this, the cargo activity is very low and does not have any influential impact in the sector. Most if the goods entering the country are carried by ground transportation.

Water Transport

Water transportation is a huge and well-developed sector. Many ports are working with heavy traffic. In general, the ports are one of the most important gateways for the economic activity of the country.

The busiest cargo seaport in Croatia is the Port of Rijeka and the busiest passenger ports are Split and Zadar. In addition to those, a large number of minor ports serve an extensive system of ferries connecting numerous islands and coastal cities in addition to ferry lines to several cities in Italy. The largest river port is Vukovar, located on the Danube, representing the nation's outlet to the Pan-European transport corridor VII.

About DB Schenker

Schenker is one of the leading international providers of integrated logistics services. Schenker provides support to industry and trade in land operations, in world- wide air and sea freight, and in all the associated logistics services.

DB Schenker Croatia (Schenker d.o.o.), established in 1994, is the Croatian arm of Schenker and reports directly to Austria. Schenker d.o.o. is mainly engaged in freight land, sea and air transport and distribution, warehousing, logistical services, customs clearance and collective shipments. It operates offices and distribution centers in several locations across Croatia.

Schenker Croatia is employing 120 employees and handles over 58.000 shipments annually. Strong growth on the Croatian market primarily derives from the fact that Croatia is an economy still being in transition.

Schenker & Co AG Austria in Vienna is the regional head office for South-Eastern Europe within the DB Schenker organization.

DB Schenker stands for the transportation and logistics activities of Deutsche Bahn. The Logistics sector of DB is the world’s second largest transportation and logistics services provider based on revenues and performance.

In financial year 2012, DB Schenker generated revenues of around 20.3 billion Euros, approximately 52 percent of the DB Group’s revenues. Through its Transportation and Logistics Division, DB holds top positions in global air and ocean freight and has Europe’s densest land transport network and the rail expertise of Europe’s largest rail freight company.

With around 2,000 locations in all of the world’s most important economic regions, DB Schenker has a global network geared toward customer service, quality and sustainability. This success is owed primarily to DB Schenker’s 96,000 employees, all of whom place customer satisfaction and quality at the center of their work.