Tamas Matyasi at the Dunajská Streda terminal

Shipping lines and intermodal operators have warned shippers of disruptions to road and rail freight operations in Germany after heavy flooding created a flurry of traffic restrictions.

Persistent heavy rain in southern Germany has led to extreme flooding across the region, with five confirmed casualties.

HHLA-owned intermodal operator Metrans advised cusomers: “In connection with the ongoing meteorological situation and heavy rainfall in the southern part of Germany, we are forced to inform you that rail traffic has been significantly reduced since the weekend due to flooding.

“Our service will be particularly affected to and from Munich,” it added.

The level of the River Danube in the area is currently over six metres – at normal levels it is around three.

Bavarian news publication BR24 reported today that the flooding has “massively affected rail traffic”.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn warned that Munich is currently inaccessible by long-distance trains from Stuttgart, Würzburg and Nuremberg.

This has led to cancellations and delays on corresponding routes, including Munich to Berlin and between Stuttgart and Frankfurt.

Meanwhile, in a customer advisory, Maersk warned: “Due to the current situation and heavy floods in the south of Germany, AP Moller-Maersk is seeing an impact to our inland network in several areas.

“The heavy flooding has resulted in train cancellations, road closures, and train stoppages, consequently impacting our truck and rail operations on both import and export side.”

BR24 reported that Munich-bound road traffic was also seeing severe delays.

“In the direction of Munich, a block clearance has been set up… Currently, only 300 vehicles are allowed to drive on the southbound section at a time, then the roadway will be closed again for a certain period.

“Therefore, there are considerable traffic problems in the flood regions,” it reported.

Parts of the Rhine in southern Germany were also closed to cargo shipping on Monday. Reuters reported that Rhine river-shipping stopped around Maxau and Mainz in south Germany, but that Maxau is currently forecast to reopen to shipping early on Friday.

The Danish carrier said it is currently assessing available road and rail capacity in the affected areas and replanning any affected shipments “to the next available date”, though it added “as the situation is expected to continue, it is difficult to predict its full impact”.

Listen to this clip from The Loadstar Podcast to hear about how DP World is utilising rail transport in the expansion of its Modal Shift Programme:

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