UIC - UIRR press conference: 2020 Report on Combined Transport

The 2020 Report on Combined Transport was presented to the press on 28 October

UIC Combined Transport Group publishes jointly with the UIRR, the first findings of the eighth bi-annual report providing a comprehensive overview of the current situation of Combined Transport (CT) in Europe in 2020.

The host of the event, Majorie van Leijen, Editor-in-Chief of RailFreight.com, welcomed over  50 participants from all over the world and guided the audience and the speakers through the press conference. . A dedicated slot at the end of the conference was offered to the participants in order to discuss the interesting questions that were raised from different perspectives.

Land freight market has a huge importance for the European economy, environment and society

Sandra Géhénot, UIC Freight Director, highlighted the economic importance of the European land freight transport market. Its impact on the environment and society is significant. Therefore, it is vital for the sector to work together to drive modal shift towards sustainable transport solutions and rail is the key for this. Sandra Géhénot also underlined that the 2020 Report is an example of the even closer cooperation with UIRR, since UIC Combined Transport Group - representing 80% of CT Railway Undertakings in Europe - and UIRR have been cooperating for many years now.

Comprehensive insights on market structures

Mathias Lahrmann, Managing Director of BSL Transportation Consultants, provided up-to-date information on rail/ road combined transport volumes for the year 2019 and for all market segments and gathered the market participants’ assessment on market structures and future developments. Additionally, Mathias Lahrmann emphasized on the disparities between selected regions in Europe, as well as on intermodal loading units (ILU), which are examined in light of their use in combined transport, and the role of terminals in the combined transport chain.

Combined transport market is facing numerous challenges

These details must be seen in their political context. Ralf-Charley Schultze, UIRR President, explained the situation we are facing: climate change, public concerns for air pollution caused by diesel engines, unabated road congestion and a truck driver shortage have all drawn the attention of European policymakers to Combined Transport. In the context of the European Green Deal, decarbonization and the effective countering of the other challenges of our time (pandemic, social inclusion, etc.) cannot be achieved without significantly affecting the way transportation is managed today. Within the transport sector, when it comes to the longer distance freight segment, Combined Transport delivers.

CT market has increased up to more than 50% in the last ten years and market outlook is also positive

The press conference was closed by Eric Lambert, Chairman of the UIC Combined Transport Group who underlined the increase in the share of rail freight and in particular Combined Transport between 2009 to 2018, especially international CT. In his view, CT with its growth figures is a key driver for achieving the 30by2030 objectives for the rail sector as a reliable system even in times of crisis. This is also endorsed by the sector’s positive outlook for 2022 to 2024 in terms of volume and revenue. Mental shift must be the main key of the year 2021, the Year of Rail, as only a mental shift will lead to a modal shift. His concluded his statement by declaring that Combined Transport is an integral part of the solution to promote a modal shift and ensure that rail becomes the backbone of future mobility.

The “2020 Report on Combined Transport” is available for download here: https://uic.org/special-groups/combined-transport-group/#documents

The presentation for the press conference can be downloaded below on this page and on the UIC webpage


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Documents correspondants
CT press conference: Presentation EN