DB charges customers for sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine
Sending humanitarian aid from Germany to Ukraine by rail with Deutsche Bahn (DB) is no longer free. In other words, anyone who wants to send aid to Ukraine in this way will have to pay a fee of 6,000 euros per container out of their own pocket. This was reported by the German publication Der Spiegel, which claimed to have received information from sources surrounded by DB, Railway Supply reports, citing RailFreight.
Although not officially confirmed, there are some indications that this service has indeed been stopped. For example, the March 7 DB press release announcing the creation of a humanitarian rail corridor between Germany and Ukraine is no longer available on their website.
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According to Der Spiegel, the reason for the interruption of this initiative is a quarrel between the DB and the German Ministry of Transport over who is responsible for funding it. DB claims it has already spent five million euros to finance the transport of humanitarian aid from Germany to Ukraine. German media have mentioned that since DB is a public company, its donations are limited to a certain extent for legal reasons.
Already in early March, DB Cargo and DB Schenker combined their rail and road transport to deliver aid directly from Germany to Ukraine. One of the DB projects to help Ukraine was the Grain Bridge. With this initiative, DB began transporting grain blocked in Ukrainian ports to Germany to the ports of Rostock, Hamburg and Brake.
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