Information published on 3 February 2015 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 434.

UIC mandated to gather market feedback on Rail Cargo Theft

  • Freight
  • Security

Under the principle of free circulation of people and goods, maintaining levels of security is a constant and complex activity on European territory. Although Cargo Theft appears to be primarily a major problem in the road transport domain, it also impacts rail freight operation.

With the targets set by the Commission in the last White Paper (i.e. 30% of the road traffic over 300 km to be shifted to more sustainable transport modes by 2030 and up to 50% by 2050), a shift of criminality towards rail could be expected. It is therefore the Commission’s wish to gather intelligence in order to have a more informed view of the extent of this phenomenon across all market segments of rail freight so to address it adequately.

Although occurrences of rail cargo theft and vandalism are recorded on either a company or a national basis, the frequency with which they happen in rail freight is not precisely known, nor is their economic impact at sector level.

In order to address this problem adequately, the coordination of actions and activities between member states and with/within the sector is needed. Moreover, measures can only be effective if they address the entire journey and therefore the entire logistics chain.

UIC was therefore mandated to run three stakeholder workshops between January and June 2015 so to provide DG Move with valuable first-hand experience and feedback on the current market situation. The workshops will lead to:

-  The development of a common understanding of rail cargo theft and vandalism
-  The segmentation of the various incidents
-  The inventory of available data and ensuing gap analysis (what data is available/what is missing)
-  Information on the geographical coverage of the various occurrences
-  An assessment of the cost impact of rail cargo theft including operational costs
-  Recommendations in line with stakeholder needs.

The first workshop took place in Paris on 23 January and welcomed representatives of the entire transport chain (rail freight undertakings, rail freight security experts, combined transport operators, forwarders, terminals, legal experts and DG Move) who, as a first step, developed:

-  A common understanding of rail cargo theft
-  A basic typology of incidents
-  An approach for homogenous recording

Workshops 2 and 3 are scheduled to take place in April and June respectively and will focus on occurrence and geographical scope.

For further information please contact: bonneau@uic.org or gehenot@uic.org