Industry declaration aims to enhance competitiveness and boost international rail freight
21 June 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
On the 21 June 2016, the European rail sector presented a declaration at the TEN-T Days in Rotterdam, aiming to enhance the competitiveness of the Rail Freight Corridors boosting international freight.
The rail sector, represented by the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), CLECAT (European Association for Forwarding, Transport, Logistic and Customs Services), Association of European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM), European Rail Freight Association (ERFA), ERTMS Users Group, European Shippers’ Council (ESC), International Union of Wagon Keepers (UIP), International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport (UIRR), and UNIFE (Union des Industries Ferroviaires Européennes), and supported by the Rail Freight Corridors, presented a declaration at the TEN-T Days in Rotterdam. The statement commits to enhancing the competitiveness of the Rail Freight Corridors for the benefit of all customers, and to improving the quality, reliability and efficiency of transporting goods by rail across Europe.
The recent declaration adds to an earlier one presented by the Transport Ministers of the EU member states. Both aim to boost the development of rail freight transport.
Improving the competitiveness of the Rail Freight Corridors
The declaration identifies important measures which are needed to improve the competitiveness of the Rail Freight Corridors in order to make rail freight a more attractive option for all customers, to enhance the operational efficiency of rail freight operators, and to ensure adequate capacity for all users. One such measure includes a single list of important operational issues to be resolved for improving international rail freight, updated annually by the advisory groups of railway undertakings, and proposed to rail freight corridors in order to support their action plan. Additionally, the corridors will continue providing and improving an adequate, generic and comparable set of key performance indicators (KPIs) on the quality of service at regular intervals, and in consultation with the stakeholders, taking into account already existing work carried out by the sector.
Furthermore, the rail sector associations have committed to report on the results of the actions agreed in the declaration on a regular basis.
“The sector declaration, in combination with the ministerial declaration, is an unprecedented effort to increase the competitiveness of international rail freight”
All signatories of the declaration jointly state: “The sector declaration, in combination with the ministerial declaration, is an unprecedented effort to increase the competitiveness of international rail freight, unlocking its growth potential, and promoting rail’s key role in a sustainable transport system. It shows that the European rail sector and member states are pulling together on the same string with a common goal in mind: boosting international rail freight for the benefit of the whole sector, particularly shippers and other end-users. All parties are committed to working together towards that goal.”