UIRR Newsletter Q1.2021: Confident growth 16/05/21

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Confident growth

Combined Transport delivered a strong performance of +3,17% during the first quarter of 2021, which is especially impressive if considering that the same period of 2020 was largely free of pandemic-related restrictions.  The slow restart of passenger trains contributed positively to the punctuality of intermodal trains, while the temporary Danish ban on semi-trailer transport and the Rhine Valley landslide could not weigh down CT. The Sentiment Index for the next 12 months has been upgraded to ‘ positive’ reflecting the confidence in the rebound from the pandemic and in overcoming the various traffic disturbances.

Three major disturbances occurred to freight transport, all of which impacted Combined Transport:

▪   Intermodal rail carriage of semi-trailers in pocket wagons continued to be effectively banned in Denmark until the end of April due to a lack of ability to define intermediate measures for recommencing with these transports after the safety incident that occurred on the Great Belt Bridge in January

▪   A landslide near Kestert in the Rhine Valley rendered the right bank two tracks unusable.  The line is used by over 200 freight trains daily – mostly intermodal trains.  One of the two tracks has been restored after 6 weeks of intense clean-up efforts.

▪   The mega-container vessel, Ever Given, has run aground in the Suez Canal in late March, which blocked this important waterway holding up over 400 vessels wanting to cross.  The resulting major disturbance in port activities adversely affects CT trains extensively in port hinterland relations to this day.

UIRR actively intervened to assist with the crisis management effort and to help restore normal operations as soon as possible.

Combined Transport-related law-making is picking up pace in the European legislature: the new CEF Regulation has been agreed in March, the Eurovignette Directive on road tolling is in a trialogue phase, while the proposal to revise the TEN-T Regulation is in the final phase of drafting.  The Fit for 55 Package of legislations to facilitate the implementation of the European Green Deal is also in the final stretch.  UIRR has provided input to all these efforts through multiple means to ensure that the interests of Combined Transport are adequately reflected.

The week of 17 May will be of particular importance for UIRR as the Annual Ordinary General Assembly will convene on Thursday, 20 May, to elect the Board of Directors and to decide the adjustment of UIRR’s vision, mission, and strategy.  The General Assembly will be followed by a consultation of UIRR CEOs and MoU peers with the senior management of DG MOVE.  On Friday, 21 May, UIRR will be co-producing the online conference on Charging for the Access to State-Owned Transport Infrastructure, which will explore the future of one of the most important cost components of transport services.

Ralf-Charley Schultze – President

 

 

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UIRR NL Q1.2021 EN
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