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DHL launches new shipping option, but it has a catch

In the future, DHL customers will be able to choose whether their parcels are transported by car or by rail. A great bonus at first glance – but does environmentally friendly shipping only have advantages? What you should know about the new DHL shipping option.

DHL has recently started offering its customers the option of getting parcels from A to B in a way that saves CO2 and is therefore more environmentally friendly. To do this, the company relies on rail transport. A single train can also handle considerably more shipments than a truck – up to 100,000 parcels are said to fit in one delivery. But who can use the new DHL shipping service by train and how does it work?

DHL shipping to become more climate-friendly

According to its own figures, DHL transported around 1.8 billion parcels last year in 2021. That’s a huge number, especially when you consider that the vast majority of them travel by truck. With the threat of climate change looming, the company has therefore been blowing the whistle on its sustainability initiative for some time. “Climate change is the central challenge of our time,” says board member Tobias Meyer, for example.

In the course of this initiative, among other things, a major cooperation with Deutsche Bahn is underway. The goal: to significantly increase the share of parcels transported by train, which is currently only 3 percent, and thus save CO2. In addition, in contrast to transport by truck, it is also possible to send parcels on Sundays, as the ban on motor vehicles on this day naturally does not apply to trains.

Also interesting: DHL parcel carriers no longer have to ring everyone’s doorbell

“Rail transport” as a shipping option

Users of the “Post & DHL” app will in future be able to choose for themselves how they want to send their parcels. To do this, you select the appropriate format under “Product selection” as before, specify the recipient and sender, and then have the option of selecting “Rail transport” under “Booking option”.

DHL Shipping Train
Rail transport can now be selected in the DHL app. Photo: atechbook via DHL

According to DHL, emissions are thus actively reduced by more than 30 percent and, with a maximum of one day more delivery time, no cost surcharge is demanded for the more climate-friendly transport. Sounds all good at first, but there is one (or even more) catch to it.

New function for DHL shipping is not available to everyone

For one, the train shipping option is only available online. The selection is not yet available for shipping in stores. Secondly, the offer only applies if there is also a DHL and DB Cargo rail connection between the two addresses specified. For this, the origin and destination must also not be too far away from the corresponding train stations.

Also interesting: How to set up letter notifications in the “Post & DHL” app.

In addition, DHL shipping by train only applies to parcels of size M or larger. This is because smaller parcels have been sent via the letter network to date. It is certainly also exciting to see how smoothly the cooperation with Deutsche Bahn, or indirectly with the rail network in this country, runs. Anyone who regularly travels by rail is certainly aware of the many problems associated with construction sites, sidings and coordination.


  • DHL