Technical Tours

The International Transport Forum is pleased to offer delegates the following technical off-site visits as part of the 2012 Summit programme.

Please indicate your interest in attending one or more of the technical visits during the online registration process. There are no additional charges for these visits.

Two weeks before the Summit, you will be asked via email if you would like to make a booking for the technical visits you have nominated to attend.

At the Welcome Desk of the conference centre, when you first arrive, you will be asked to confirm your reservation for the technical visit.

DHL Logistics Distribution Centre, Leipzig/Halle
Wednesday 2 May, 22:00-00:00

Officially opened for operations in late May 2008, the DHL Logistics Distribution Centre in Leipzig is DHL’s European hub. It offers a myriad of direct connections to the growth markets in Eastern Europe and Asia. DHL invested a total of EUR 300 million in its construction. At its heart are the distribution centre, also known as the warehouse, and the hangar. Completing the hub ensemble are the apron, the tank station and the administration building adjacent to the warehouse. The total surface area for buildings and planes covers approx. 200 hectares.

The DHL Logistics Distribution Centre in Leipzig is an excellent example of logistics in action, in facilities that consider environmental and sustainability aspects. Approximately 60 airplanes take off and land each night – one machine every five minutes between midnight and four o’clock in the morning. Up to 1,500 tonnes of parcels and documents are delivered, re-sorted and transhipped within a few hours’ time to every corner of the globe.

Summit participants will experience the operation of this state-of-the-art airfreight hub as a part of these exciting rush-hour conditions during our technical tour.

Please note that the tour is limited to a maximum of 20 persons.


Goldschmidt-Thermit Plant
Thursday 3 May, 13:30-15:30 (lunch pack provided)
Friday 4 May, 12:00-14:00

Enabling seamless transport on rail

The Goldschmidt-Thermit-Group offers products and services for the construction, repair and maintenance of railway infrastructure systems, including high-speed passenger lines, heavy freight, trams or metros and operates production and service sites on all continents.

Goldschmidt-Thermit is the inventor of the Thermit® welding method, manufacturer of Thermit® welding materials and global market leader. Thermit® welding facilitates the continuously welded track by connecting rails of all profiles and grades and enables more comfort due to less noise and smoother tracks, higher speed, more safety and a longer life cycle. The group also provides measurement devices for track geometry and rail stress conditions as well as measurement services and is the market leader in rail maintenance in several countries.

This tour allows Summit participants to visit the group’s biggest production site for Thermit® welding materials - Elektro-Thermit in Halle - and allows them to experience and participate in a fascinating live demonstration of a Thermit® welding process. Furthermore, participants will observe live on-track rail maintenance with a 2-way grinding vehicle particularly designed for tramway, subway and switch applications and a demonstration of the newest measurement product for track safety.

During the ride, Summit participants will also get a visual impression of the transition process of the former East German economy since the reunification in 1990, now harbouring a hidden champion in the city of Halle producing goods shipped to markets as far away as New Zealand.

The tour is limited to a maximum of 20 persons. For the first 15 registrations the transport to the site will be organised with Porsche cars.


Toll Collect
Wednesday 2 May, 9:00-11:00

Toll Collect operates the world's first satellite-based toll system. The company collects and invoices road usage charges for trucks weighing 12 tonnes or more on motorways and selected trunk roads in Germany. An innovative technique using a combination of wireless and satellite technologies ensures reliable charging and billing. The system supports environmental protection because the amount of toll charged is based on the number of vehicle axles and the emission class. The toll system contributes significantly to the financing of transport infrastructure in Germany.

Each day, some 500 Toll Collect employees work to ensure smooth system operation with a detection accuracy rate of 99.9%. This reliable operation secures several billion Euros in revenue for the German federal budget. System operating costs are currently equivalent to around 11.2% of revenue. About 140 000 transport and logistics companies from 41 countries and more than 700 000 vehicles are registered with Toll Collect.

Toll Collect GmbH shareholders include Daimler Financial Services AG (45%), Deutsche Telekom AG (45%) and Cofiroute (10%). The client is the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, represented by the Federal Office for Goods Transport.

This activity allows Summit participants to experience a 30-minute live demonstration tour near the Congress Centre on how satellite-based road charging technology works. Register your interest through the online registration portal or directly at the Toll Collect booth.

Gold Sponsor


Automotive Plants in Leipzig

The automotive industry is a key contributor to the transport sector, as a provider of independent transport as well as contributing to technology, equipment, and vehicles for mass transit transport.

BMW Leipzig
Wednesday 2 May, 9:00-11:00
Thursday 3 May, 13:30-15:30 (lunch pack provided)

The Leipzig BMW factory, built in 2000, turns out up to 750 vehicles every day. After manufacturing began in March 2005, by June 2010 a total of some 700,000 cars had come off the assembly line, meeting internal targets. The plant is the only one in the world to build the three-door 1 Series, the 1 Series Coupé and the 1 Series Cabriolet convertible.

This tour allows Summit participants to take a look behind the scenes of the BMW Leipzig Plant, designed by the famous architect Zaha Hadid. The Central Building connects the production areas, offers space for meetings and communication and gives an understanding of production.

Each BMW automobile is individually produced and tailor-made to the client's wishes and preferences. Several thousand parts in many different colours and sizes and thousands of production stages are necessary before the vehicle can be delivered. Every BMW built in Leipzig passes through the pressing plant, body shop, paint shop and assembly. The paint shop, where only environmentally friendly water-based colours and powder clear paint technology are used, is one of the greenest in the world.

The BMW plant in Leipzig also has a centre of excellence for electric cars, and is setting benchmarks with the production of the BMW ActiveE. Here thermal wheels recover up to 80 per cent of the process heat, and outdoor areas are not maintained by lawnmowers but by sheep, with 36 different species of birds to keep them company.

Porsche Plant
Wednesday 2 May, 9:00-11:00
Thursday 3 May, 13:30-15:30 (lunch pack provided)

The Porsche Leipzig assembly plant incorporates the latest advances in car manufacturing to meet customers’ needs and expectations. Modern modular manufacturing allows flexible demand-orientated vehicle production. In close collaboration with well-established service providers, the production process can be dynamically adapted at any time to meet current requirements. Moreover, modular production improves quality as well as reducing costs.

To date, Porsche has invested approximately EUR 280 million in the Leipzig site, and plans to invest another EUR 500 million to expand the assembly plant into a fully-fledged production plant including body assembly line and paint shop.

Since December 2002, the Cayenne has been built at the Leipzig Plant. In August 2003 production began on a limited number of 1270 Porsche Carrera GTs. Three of these super sports cars were being hand assembled each day by May 2006. Panamera, the fourth series out-door four-seater sports coupé has been built at the Leipzig plant since 2009. In March 2011 Porsche made the decision to built in Leipzig Macan, the fifth Porsche model line. The new Macan SUV will start coming off the production lines in 2013.

During the tour at the plant, Summit participants are offered an incomparable experience of seeing how these extraordinary vehicles take shape.

Leipzig by Bicycle
Friday 4 May, 12:00

Cycle with the Mayor of Leipzig to see how the city has implemented various seamless transport measures.