On March 3 UIC and FIATA conducted their yearly Contact Group meeting. It was decided that a 3rd Market Place Seminar with focus on the Spanish and French railway market will be organized in autumn 2010 in Barcelona.
The UIC-FIATA Contact Group aims to exchange best practices and ideas between the railway undertakings and the freight forwarders. In Paris, on March 3, the yearly meeting was held with over 20 representatives from 10 countries.
Christian Biteau, Deputy Director of Fret SNCF’s International department and Co-chairman of the permanent contact group together with Dr. Ivan Petrov, CEO Transexpress, led through the meeting. Railway undertakings and the freight forwarders reviewed the state of European markets. It appears that the market has not only stabilized but that also some segments including chemicals and automotive, have started to recapture some of their heavy losses in 2009. Moreover, it was highlightened that freight forwarders can assist railways to integrate seemlessly into customers’ logistic chains thereby becoming more competitive with road. Now, it is time to position rail solutions with customers for the economic recovery. Freight forwarders could play an important role in this.
The Xrail product was introduced to the freight forwarders (for Xrail information please see www.Xrail.eu) by Oliver Sellnick, UIC Director Freight, and FIATA stressed that this initiative was very much needed in today’s rail freight situation. Henning Schwarz, UIC Coordinator Sustainable Development, continued the information exchange by demonstrate the EcoTransit tool (www.EcoTransit.org). Freight forwarders were informed about the tool’s features and the possibilities to compute and compare the energy consumption between different transport modes.
Finally, it was agreed that UIC and FIATA will continue to organize its successful Market Place Seminar event. During the meeting it was decided that 2010 year’s seminar will be organized in Barcelona, on November 2-3, and it will focus on the Spanish and the French railway market. UIC and FIATA will now commence the development of the seminar program and the plans are to be ready with the necessary preparations before the summer break.