DIHK boss Martin Wansleben told the Berliner Zeitung on Saturday that the economy was dependent on a reliable transport system.
"Many industries depend on 'just-in-time' production," said Wansleben. "It would only take a few days for strikes in rail-freight transport to cause production disruptions, because cancelled train consignments can often not be immediately re-routed via road or domestic ship."
Wansleben was responding to a warning from the train drivers' union GDL that they want to concentrate more strikes on freight. After a few limited strikes, the GDL is expecting its members to vote for further industrial action in a ballot to be held Monday.
The train drivers want German rail operator Deutsche Bahn to give them an industry-wide wage agreement. Deutsche Bahn currently pays its drivers substantially more than its private competitors pay.