German railway starts charging for humanitarian cargo shipments to Ukraine
Deutsche Bahn (Photo:Hans-Joachim Paape / Flickr)
German railway company Deutsche Bahn-DB Cargo no longer offers free transportation of humanitarian cargo to Ukraine, German newspaper Spiegel reported on March 10.
Since Jan. 1, anyone shipping aid to Ukraine has to cover the full transportation fee – up to EUR 6,000 ($6,394) per container.
According to the report, free shipping was scrapped due to a dispute with the German Transport Ministry over how the initiative was to be financed.
Deutsche Bahn reportedly made several requests for additional state funding to cover the costs. Throughout 2022, the company spent EUR 5 million on shipping humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
The dispute was not resolved before 2023, so Deutsche Bahn had to announce a “temporary suspension of free transportation.”
“The rail bridge was DB Cargo’s initiative; the Federal Government welcomes it,” the Transport Ministry told Spiegel.
“The government continues to discuss how and to which extent the rail bridge will be supported in the future.”
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