Sylvie Charles, the new CEO of Fret SNCF, welcomed the members of the Freight Forum Steering Committee on the morning of 18 March in Paris. Prior to the meeting she had reviewed the situation of the European rail freight with Ferdinand Schmidt, Chairman of the Freight Forum / High Level Freight Meeting and Board Member of Rail Cargo Austria (RCA), and with Oliver Sellnick, UIC Freight Director. She explained that SNCF was in the process of adapting the production scheme of wagonloads to the specifications of the French market. New innovative products would be launched in intermodal traffic.
The Steering Committee reviewed the progress of major ongoing projects and activities of the Freight Forum: IFC, Xrail, e-Rail Freight, the www.RailFreightPortal.com, Business Excellence, the UIC-FIATA Contact Group, border procedures, wagon numbering, safety certification, amendments to the GCU, wagon maintenance. New project proposals were then discussed: IMPORT (how industrialize combined traffic), the Global Rail Freight Conference in Saint Petersburg 6-7 July, work on intercontinental corridors and green logistics. A draft budget for 2011 was endorsed and the meeting ended with an exchange on how to develop the Freight Forum in the future.