Under a new pilot project, Planzer is transporting general cargo with the ‘Cityliner’ semi-trailer by rail for the main stretch from Zurich to Ticino, with last-mile delivery by truck. The new trailer saves an entire transshipment, simplifies dispatch, increases the proportion of eco-friendly rail transport and makes the company more agile in city logistics.

General cargo is on the rise. Manufacturing companies are producing on demand, trade companies are processing components on a just-in-time basis and customers are increasingly placing orders via e-commerce solutions and online portals. This means manufacturers and retailers are choosing to store fewer goods themselves, as land is expensive and they don’t want to tie up capital in storage infrastructure. This is a positive development for transport logistics. And it is a situation ready-made for innovations like Planzer’s rail-ready ‘Cityliner’.

Rolling out efficiency

In Dietikon, Planzer’s transshipment logistics specialists load the trailer with general cargo headed for Ticino in the correct unloading order, and the dispatch division communicates the delivery date to the end customer. A high-performance SBB Cargo forklift picks up the fully loaded trailer at the goods station in Dietikon and places it on the rail wagon. Once the train arrives in Ticino, the towing vehicle can connect directly to the trailer and head off to the first delivery point straight away. To put it another way, we can cut out a complete transshipment and the administrative effort for the last mile in Ticino.

Big yet lean

Our fleet newcomer from the manufacturer Wecon – 11.7 metres long, 2.6 metres wide and 4 metres high – was specially created for Planzer, and we are proud to report that we are also the official importer. For the aficionados: in the field of vehicle approval, Planzer is authorised to sign test reports (form 13.20A) for vehicles with type approval / data sheet number 9WB305. The newcomer is the first of its kind in Europe, offering space for 27 pallets and a maximum load capacity of 14.8 tonnes. It is equipped with two mounting points and a steering axle, while the chassis has additional reinforcement. It does not require a special towing vehicle for connection. With its technically intelligent design, the ‘Cityliner’ remains manoeuvrable and is particularly well-suited for delivering general cargo in urban areas.

An innovation in Swiss general cargo transport

In the past, semi-trailers have been used mostly for partial and complete loads in international freight. The ‘Cityliner’ is an innovation for Switzerland in combined road/rail transport. It is currently available on the Dietikon–Bioggio route. Following a successful pilot project, it is set to be extended to Dietikon–Chavornay and Dietikon–Geneva.

All lined up

The ‘Cityliner’ lives up to its name – it is suited to the city and fits Planzer’s strategic focal points of sustainability and innovation right down the line. That’s because, as a family company, Planzer is committed to low-emission transport solutions such as rail and innovative, technology-based solutions for sustainable delivery throughout Switzerland.

‘The Cityliner pilot project is highly promising. I feel sure that we will soon be rolling out this concept, for the sake of the environment and our future.’

Severin Baer, Head of National Transport at Planzer

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