Daniela Dallinger
is a communicator in the Rail Cargo Group
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Central-heating and steam boilers: from Austria to China by rail

Our bespoke solutions have convinced Hoval to transport its products to China by rail in future. Hoval, a full-service supplier of smart heating and ventilation systems, had previously shipped goods by sea.We – as ÖBB’s freight division drew on our international logistics expertise to plan the complex route, which covered thousands of kilometres and six countries, thereby making a major contribution to the project’s success.

Internationally sought-after indoor climate control solutions

Hoval is one of the world’s leading suppliers of indoor climate control solutions. A traditional family-owned firm headquartered in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, Hoval exports its heating and ventilation systems to over 50 countries worldwide. Hoval Group comprises 17 international subsidiaries, plus five production sites across Europe and one in China. The group’s European logistics hub is located in Marchtrenk, which is also the headquarters of Hoval Austria. In collaboration with a partner company, the site also produces industrial and steam boilers. Their product quality and technical expertise are renowned far beyond their alpine homeland. Recently, the firm was commissioned to build two steam boilers and four central-heating boilers for a hotel in Xian, China.


Loading of the heating and steam boilers (c)RCG

Speed is the winning argument

Previously, all shipping had gone by sea, but by offering a bespoke door-to-door transport solution we were able to convince Hoval to shift to a more environmentally-friendly means of transport: rail. The decisive factors in the firm’s decision to have the boilers shipped to China by rail were not only the much shorter transit time, but also the high degree of sustainability – the latter being a credo to which the heating and ventilation systems experts have also subscribed for many years.

Loading with little margin for error

Loading the goods presented us with our first logistical challenge. The two steam boilers, each of which weighs 5.5 tonnes, and the four heating boilers, each of which weighs 11 tonnes, were loaded into special 40-foot High Cube containers for their 12,000-kilometre journey. Given the dimensions of the containers, only a few millimetres separated the boilers from one another and from the container walls and doors. Hoval’s own experts therefore helped advise on loading. The goods then travelled by road to the Munich container terminal, where the containers were transshipped onto wagons, before beginning their journey across Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan to their destination, the rail terminal in Chongqing, China. Upon arrival there, the six boilers completed their journey by road, arriving at the hotel in Xian, China, a mere 30 days after departure.