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Case
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Reference no. 221-0014-1
Authors: Hanno Friedrich (Kühne Logistics University gGmbH); Carola Schulz (Hochschule Heilbronn)
Originally published in: 2021
Version: 31-Mar-2021
Revision date: 06-May-2021

Abstract

Discussions on sustainability in freight transportation often result in the claim that more goods should be transported via rail instead of by truck. The introduction of the CO2 emission tax from 2021 onward in Germany might positively influence the economic competitiveness of the railway sector. Complete trains (direct trains from point to point) were already rather efficient and attractive before. However, single wagon networks struggle and constantly lose market share. For mixed load cargo (shipments with one to several pallets) the single wagon network is not used at all anymore. One initiative, so-called 'Railports', aim to make the latter more efficient and attractive to the market and therefore maybe help to accelerate the modal shift. In this case students should gain insights into the complexity of investment decisions in an environment of a natural monopoly, a publicly sponsored, regulated company and the threat of regulated access to properties/infrastructure with high initial investment costs. Students should identify and discuss the possibly opposing positions of society and the investor as well as the point of view of competitors. A fictive hearing in the form of a role-play should improve the students’ negotiation skills and their argumentation skills from different perspectives.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses.

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2021.

Geographical setting

Region:
Europe
Country:
Germany

Featured company

Deutsche Bahn AG
Employees:
10000+
Turnover:
EUR 44,000,000,000
Type:
Public company
Industry:
Logistics
Other keywords:
Logistics; Transport; Railway; Mixed cargo

Featured protagonist

  • Nelly (female), Trainee

About

Abstract

Discussions on sustainability in freight transportation often result in the claim that more goods should be transported via rail instead of by truck. The introduction of the CO2 emission tax from 2021 onward in Germany might positively influence the economic competitiveness of the railway sector. Complete trains (direct trains from point to point) were already rather efficient and attractive before. However, single wagon networks struggle and constantly lose market share. For mixed load cargo (shipments with one to several pallets) the single wagon network is not used at all anymore. One initiative, so-called 'Railports', aim to make the latter more efficient and attractive to the market and therefore maybe help to accelerate the modal shift. In this case students should gain insights into the complexity of investment decisions in an environment of a natural monopoly, a publicly sponsored, regulated company and the threat of regulated access to properties/infrastructure with high initial investment costs. Students should identify and discuss the possibly opposing positions of society and the investor as well as the point of view of competitors. A fictive hearing in the form of a role-play should improve the students’ negotiation skills and their argumentation skills from different perspectives.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses.

Settings

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2021.

Geographical setting

Region:
Europe
Country:
Germany

Featured company

Deutsche Bahn AG
Employees:
10000+
Turnover:
EUR 44,000,000,000
Type:
Public company
Industry:
Logistics
Other keywords:
Logistics; Transport; Railway; Mixed cargo

Featured protagonist

  • Nelly (female), Trainee

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