Jochen Thewes

Staying ahead of the pack! The CEO on the latest projects in DB Schenker’s Land Transport Network

Photo: Max Lautenschläger

Dear readers, when we talk about land transport today, it is mostly about good old trucks and terminals. Here at DB Schenker we are very proud to have Europe’s largest and densest line haul network that enables us to serve our customers like no other logistics provider can do. Striving for sustainability and efficiency, we add value to supply chains every day. But is that enough?


We say: no. We want more. Just two weeks ago, DB Schenker invested in Volocopter, the world’s most advanced manufacturer of heavy lift drones. With Volocopter’s Volodrone model we will soon explore ways to make land transport go airborne. We want to use the Volodrone, for instance, where rivers or canyons or the unavailability of roads stop truck deliveries today. Or it can bring urban logistics to a new dimension for our customers.


Already, we have successfully included electrically driven trucks in our operations. In many city centers we use cargo bikes as a zero emission deliveries solution for downtown customers. In a pilot project in one of our terminals in southern Germany we tested an autonomous swap body lifting truck. Now we will go up in the air with the Volodrone. These examples show just how innovative and disruptive the traditional land transport business is today.


Another project that is just as exciting has been receiving somewhat less attention to date: in Finland we subjected “High Capacity Trucks” to a program of intensive testing. These extralong rigs allow increased payloads, and they have been approved for use on the road in this northern European country since 2019. The result of our trials: used intelligently, these rigs boost efficiency and at the same time lower fuel consumption considerably. Good for the customers, and good for the climate! Which is why we now deploy these trucks on a regular basis. You can find all the important information on this topic in this issue’s main feature here.


And then, I am very happy to announce one more innovation that has nothing to do with land transport. We will soon present this “logistics NewsFeed” to you, our loyal readers, in an entirely new format. In time-honored tradition, we will continue to surprise you with innovation stories and news topics from the world of our logistics. And, of course, you will be among the first to know when we integrate the Volodrone into our logistics network the first time for a customer. I will be back soon with more details.


Kind regards,

Jochen Thewes 

Chairman of the Board of Management at Schenker AG