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Many of the RETHMANN Group’s companies and associated businesses have invested in public private partnerships to help provide a variety of essential public services. One special feature of such collaboration work between the public and private sectors is the provision of public transport and logistics services. Just one example here is Transdev, which is one of the world’s leading providers of public transport solutions. It owns shares in five public private partnerships in North Rhine-Westphalia alone – Germany’s most densely populated state – which sees it serving, among others, the towns of Hagen, Düsseldorf, Krefeld and Mönchengladbach. Moreover, Niederrheinische Verkehrsbetriebe Aktiengesellschaft NIAG operates in the Lower Rhine region where it focuses on optimising its well-run and low-cost public transport network and offering logistics services that are of huge economic importance to the whole of the region as well as to the east of the Ruhr.
NIAG’s largest municipal shareholder is the District of Wesel with a 43% stake in the business. Other public sector owners include the District of Kleve, the City of Wesel, the City of Duisburg and the City of Moers. REMONDIS’ sister company, Rhenus SE & Co. KG, is the private sector shareholder and owns 51% of the shares. NIAG is the largest provider of public transport services in the southern part of the Lower Rhine region and employs around 700 people. The joint venture is responsible for delivering local public transport for an area covering approximately 3,000km². To be able to provide the services required, it operates a total of 77 bus routes using 192 of its own buses and 137 leased buses, which travel around twelve million kilometres per year. NIAG also helps keep the people in the region mobile by offering a range of other services including twelve of its own community buses and car-sharing and taxi-share systems in several towns.
In addition, NIAG also operates two of the region’s most important logistics sites, which are located in Rheinhafen Orsoy, a suburb of Rheinberg, and in Moers. The company’s premises in Orsoy has a storage area covering 65,000m² and delivers a number of logistics services including transhipping coal for the power plants in the Rhine and Ruhr region.
The logistics centre in Moers has 25km of main tracks with a rail operating centre and direct links to the Deutsche Bahn’s rail network in Moers and Rheinberg. It ensures, therefore, that transport operations run smoothly by acting as a link between the water and rail transport systems. With the help of a large number of electric locomotives, diesel locomotives and shunting locomotives and 550 leased freight wagons, it enables local rail transport to be carried out across the region and beyond using its own network as well as those owned by others. But that’s not all – NIAG’s logistics portfolio also includes offering block train, individual wagon, wagon loading and shunting services, in-house transport systems and container transport services.
By collaborating closely with its customers, NIAG is able to provide them with the exact transport service they need – whenever they need it – and deliver maximum transparency. And it is prepared for all eventualities. Its highly qualified staff, who are trained in the company’s own accredited training centre, ensures that everything runs smoothly along the whole of the logistics chain. As a result, this exceptional public private partnership runs a business that benefits everyone involved and has become a role model for all such types of transport collaborations.
Indeed, the success of this part-privatisation was reflected in its books just two years into the partnership. While the private sector shareholder carries the majority of the business risk, the municipal partners not only benefit from the advantages in line with their share in the company. They also have the additional financial advantage that they no longer have to pay subsidies. In the past, before the part-privatisation, they had to plough money into the business to cover the losses it was making – a sum that ran into millions. This public private partnership has, therefore, created a genuine win-win situation that has succeeded in taking the pressure off the public purse and delivering sustainable, top quality services.
Niederrheinische Verkehrsbetriebe Aktiengesellschaft NIAG
District of Wesel (43%)
District of Kleve (3%)
192 company-owned buses, of which 50 are articulated buses, 137 standard buses, 3 buses for teaching bus drivers, 2 minibuses, 5 midi-buses, 1 city train and 1 city bus, 12 company-owned community buses, 2 reserve vehicles, 137 leased buses
e.g. fare & timetable advice, ticket sales, 5 company-owned customer centres, 26 external sales points
Locomotives & freight wagons:
9 electric locomotives, 15 diesel locomotives, 3 shunting locomotives, 550 leased freight wagons
transparency by introducing an SQAS system, company-wide emergency management, highly qualified staff thanks to the company’s own accredited training centre