That's what forwarding agents say about the ROLA...

03. 10. 2019

Whether via Austria from Germany or the Czech Republic or via Poland, Germany and Austria from as far north as Sweden, they all have to cross the Brenner Pass when they make their way to Italy. Instead of using the roads, they choose the environmentally friendly option.

We asked six European hauliers what they think about the ROLA, why they use the ROLA, what advantages it brings them, what works well and what could be better.

"Why do you use the ROLA?"

All respondents gave the same answer to the question  because of night driving bans and the sectoral driving ban in Tyrol, i.e. the driving ban on trucks weighing at least 7.5 tonnes as well as on the transport of certain goods by road. This means that switching to the railways is the only practical way of getting to Italy.

One of the interviewees even said that for him, there is no other way but the ROLA.

What is more, using the railways for even one part of the journey demonstrates your green footprint.

The advantages

The answers are more diverse when it comes to the ROLA’s advantages. For one person, the advantage lies in reduced travel times, for another it is that the ROLA journey time counts as a statutory break.

In addition to its "on time service", the fact that the ROLA makes it possible to plan better and travel more flexibly with higher freight volumes are also particularly important arguments in favour of the ROLA.

Reserving slots from four days in advance until shortly before the deadline.

Most respondents were pleased that goods are handled well at the terminals. The booking options and the good contact to the booking offices are also worth mentioning, as well as the smooth process of reserving fixed slots from four days in advance until shortly before the deadline.

And the freight forwarders interviewed surely know what they’re talking about, because they are well versed when it comes to the ROLA.

On average, they have been relying on ROLA for ten to 15 years, some for as many as 27 years.

There is still a lot to do

However, there is potential for improvement in the punctuality and reliability of train connections. Some of the interviewees would also like to see an increase in the frequency of services, especially for night trains and connections to Trento. The comfort of the accompanying carriage could also be improved.

We still have a lot to do to make the ROLA and thus the shift from road to the environmentally friendly railways even more attractive.