Tuesday 1 March 2022

7th African Railway Thursdays webinar focuses on the resilience of rail freight and logistics and the new challenges of its repositioning

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On 23 February 23 2022, UIC Africa and the UIC Freight Department, represented by Senior Freight Advisor Philip Van Den Bosch, held the seventh webinar in the African Railway Thursdays series, focusing on the resilience of rail freight and logistics and the new challenges for its repositioning.

Mohamed Rabie Khlie, Chairman of UIC Africa and UIC Vice-Chairman, highlighted in his opening speech that this topic had been chosen on account of the profound changes and adaptations to the transport chain that continue to mark the rail environment, particularly in the context of the impact of the pandemic.

Almost 100 managers and around 20 rail networks and port operators participated in the webinar. The programme featured a number of rich, structured presentations, offering an opportunity for participants to better comprehend the magnitude of global challenges relating to rail freight and logistics.

The presentations given by ÖBB-Holding, EDR, Zeebrugge Port Authority, ONCF, UNECE and other speakers highlighted the challenges that need to be met with the support and involvement of public authorities. Significant elements and recommendations identified by the speakers to give a new impetus to this activity and strengthen its position in a sector marked by tough competition included:

  • recognition that rail freight transport is a major lever, contributing to the dynamics of the economy, territorial development and the acceleration of the ecological transition,
  • the desire expressed by stakeholders around the world to develop rail freight and logistics as a quieter, more environmentally friendly and less dangerous mode through the launch of ambitious strategies.

In the case of Africa, a call was made to revitalise rail freight and logistics within the continent as a strategic driver to adequately support mobility needs, with clear positive spill-over effects for the continent.

Presentations and conclusions from the webinar are available at

https://uic.org/events/african-railway-thursdays-7th-webinar-freight-resilience-railway-logistics-the

The next webinar, scheduled for April, will focus on railway stations and will feature a discussion of the successful experiences already implemented to make the rail model more viable and sustainable.

For more information on the activities of UIC Africa, please contact Maria Lafont, lafont@uic.org or Philip Van Den Bosch at vandenbosch@uic.org

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