The ins and outs of combined freight transport
The Hupac Company has been removing heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) from our roads for 50 years. Its founding in Chiasso on 1 March 1967 was sponsored by five pioneers from the logistics sector. Reason enough for the Swiss Museum of Transport to mark this milestone with an exhibition featuring combined freight transport.
Hupac's founding in 1967 came in response to a genuine need in the market: to facilitate the safe, secure and reliable transport of goods across the Alps. The Gotthard road tunnel was not yet in existence: HGVs had to struggle up and down the pass road, which had to be closed every winter. As the economy boomed, the challenging transalpine traffic situation was seen increasingly as a hindrance to the transeuropean flow of goods. This led in 1967 to the establishment by four forward-looking haulage companies of a partnership with the Swiss Federal Railways in Chiasso to found Hupac AG. The initiators were hauliers Bertschi and F.lli Bernasconi, shippers Danzas and Jacky Maeder, and the Swiss Federal Railways. The venture saw road transport companies investing in railway rolling stock for the first time.
The first Hupac-operated trains shuttled within Switzerland between Basel and Melide near Lugano; in 1969 the nascent enterprise extended its operations to include Cologne in Germany and Milan in Italy, followed a little later by Rotterdam (Netherlands), Hamburg and Singen (Germany) and other destinations. These days, 100-plus trains a day serve Hupac's network of destinations from Scandinavia to southern Italy, Spain to Russia and China, and the Netherlands to Romania.
Operate a crane
To mark the 50th anniversary of its founding, Hupac has provided the Swiss Museum of Transport with a special working exhibit. In partnership with crane manufacturer Hans Künz GmbH, SBB Cargo International and Swiss haulage companies, Hupac das developed a crane simulator that now features in the Rail Transport Hall. Sitting in a Reallife cabin, visitors can transfer freight between road and rail and get a feel for what it's like to be a crane operator. The exhibit also highlights the variety of transport units that hauliers have to contend with.
Discovering combined freight transport
The accompanying exhibition explains what constitutes combined transport. Combined transport is essentially where freight is transported in standardised receptacles that do not change using modes of transport (rail, road, waterways) that do change. The exhibition also describes Switzerland's transport policy in the area of transshipping transalpine freight from road to rail. Elsewhere, visitors learn about the infrastructure required for the transshipment of containers and the world of haulage and shipping companies.
Hans Künz Gmbh,
SBB Cargo International AG,
Giezendanner Transport AG,
Planzer Transport AG,
Schöni Transport AG