On 22 November, UIC hosted the Eurasian Corridor Stakeholder Meeting. High level participants came from Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and several other European countries.
Jean Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director General, welcomed the participants and emphasised that even though the market share was still small (around 1%), it was growing very quickly.
The starting point focused on the recommendations and gaps from the UIC Study on Eurasian Corridors. In a first session on Market and Technology Pavel Chistiyakov from the VP Infrastructure Economic Centre in Moscow reported on plans to build high speed freight infrastructure between China and Europe, whereas Jean Pierre Orus from SNCF listed the difficulties of developing high speed freight in Europe.
The second session discussed digital developments along the Eurasian Corridors. Natalya Stepanova from the Coordinating Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation presented IT solutions to improve competitiveness on the Trans-Siberian Route. Inessa Yakovleva Deputy Head of RZD IT Department presented the use of electronic signatures to reduce time and money on document processing. Vladislavs Sidorovs from SIGIS showed how to track containers and wagons from China to the Baltic. Patrick Mantell from UIC showed an existing application in western and central Europe for paperless consignment notes and tracking and tracing those consignments. Erik EVTIMOV recalled the importance of the legal compatibility between COTIF and SMGS.
The third panel stressed the importance of rail terminals along the corridors. Mr Suleymenov reported on the effort of the Kazakh Railways to create high performance terminals. Xavier Perrin from Delta 3 presented this terminal located near Dourges in the North of France. This terminal just welcomed its first direct train from China for Decathlon two days earlier.
Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director, closed the successful meeting with the conclusion that higher speed on longer distance supported by IT processes and modern terminals along the corridor will attract higher value goods and improve the corridors’ competitiveness compared to sea and air transport.