The performance of rail freight transport is slowly recovering since 2009 economic crisis reaching 17.4% of the modal share for rail freight, according to the EU Statistical Pocketbook 2013. However, it remains competitively far behind and in third place after road and maritime (short sea shipping) transportation.
An increasing demand by customers for greener logistics, faster and reliable delivery of goods, and ambitions for expansion of their market to Eastern Europe and beyond, made it necessary to bring rail freight back on track. This means that together, the Sector and the European Institutions have to rethink the business model of freight transportation along the supply chain and to seek solutions to reduce costs and time-to-market for rail freight services making rail more competitive as well as more efficient as a mode of transport. On June 12 in Brussels, UIP held a symposium on INCREASING EFFICIENCY IN RAIL FREIGHT, bringing together high level and operational representatives of the European Commission DG MOVE, the ERA, OTIF, CER, ESC, UIRR, National Associations of Wagon Keepers and ECMs.