Information published on 12 May 2015 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 448.

Xrail Alliance to further boost the European Wagonload

  • Freight

Xrail, the Alliance of six leading European rail freight companies, has continued its efforts to significantly enhance the international wagonload and will start with pilots for international capacity booking in 2015. The chairmanship of Xrail will rotate in the future and has been taken over by SBB Cargo and Green Cargo.

Based on their unanimous decision to boost the wagonload traffic across the European borders, the Xrail members have made considerable progress to achieve industry change for rail freight by accomplishing successful turnaround programmes and by implementing capacity-managed networks respectively. Wagonload still forms the crucial backbone for rail freight traffic with a share of up to 30% and an estimated volume of about 85 billion tonne kilometres within Europe. Xrail continues to substantially enhance the international wagonload with the implementation of international capacity booking.

Connecting domestic booking systems via Xrail

With the XCB (Xrail Capacity Booking) initiative, all Xrail members establish capacity controlled networks on domestic level. The central broker system, developed by Xrail, will connect these domestic systems to enable simple and seamless wagonload bookings between the six partners with full coverage across the entire Xrail network. Shippers will be provided with an estimated time of arrival (ETA) at the time of booking and perceive a new level of quality and efficiency for their European wagonload transport. The first pilots for international capacity booking are currently in preparation and will be operated in the autumn of 2015.

Rotating chairmanship as of 2015

From 2015 onwards, the chairmanship of the Alliance will rotate annually among its members. For the time being, Nicolas Perrin, CEO of SBB Cargo, and Jan Kilström, CEO of Green Cargo, have taken over as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Xrail respectively. The members of the Xrail Alliance would like to thank Ferdinand Schmidt for his excellent contribution as Xrail Chairman on behalf of the Rail Cargo Group since the foundation of the Alliance in February 2010. He has been instrumental in the development of Xrail as well as in initiating the current strategic projects.

About Xrail

In February 2010, a unique production Alliance was formed for the operations of international wagonload traffic between the six rail freight operators CFL cargo, DB Schenker Rail, Green Cargo, Rail Cargo Group, SBB Cargo and SNCB Logistics.

The Alliance strives to significantly enhance the competitiveness of European wagonload traffic by working together to improve the quality of wagonload services throughout Europe and has developed new international production standards, supporting IT tools and different quality improvement measures. Since autumn 2010, the new international production standard has been continuously improved and rolled-out to a relevant share of the international wagonload traffic between the partners.

Xrail implements cross-border production standard benefiting Wagonload customers in three areas: reliability, transparency and time-to-market. In June 2010, the members created Xrail S.A. as a company with offices in Brussels.

For more information about Xrail and international wagonload traffic please visit: