UIRR Newsletter Q4.2019: Combined Transport is pulled down 13/02/20

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Combined Transport is pulled down

The unfavourable economic trends that emerged during the third quarter of 2019 were exacerbated over the final 3 months of the year by the French railway strikes and operational disturbances related to extreme weather and works on the rail infrastructure. These effects are reflected in the quarterly CT Performance Gauge showing a year-on-year decline for the second quarter in a row.

The Climate Emergency Declaration of the European Parliament followed by the European Green Deal from the Commission offered the hope of new impetus – to be severely cooled by the news of the Mobility Package trialogue deal and the apparent withdrawal of the Combined Transport Directive amendment. The sentiment of CT actors going forward has subsequently deteriorated to ‘slightly negative’.

The Finnish Presidency together with newly appointed Transport Commissioner Adina-Ioana Valean and the European Parliament rapporteurs surprised the transport world when announcing the trialogue compromise deal that they achieved in December last year. The compromise contains two newly invented components:

(i) the possibility for Member States to suspend the application of Article 4 of the CT Directive 92/106 and

(ii) the mandatory regular return of trucks to their home countries to stay there for a ‘cooling-off period’.

The legal equivalence between a cross-border road haulage operation and the international Combined Transport chain that corresponds to it – as contained in Article 4 of Directive 92/106 – has been a mainstay of European Combined Transport since the EU adopted its first CT legislation in 1975. This abrupt ‘innovation’ – if enacted into law – would not only severely endanger existing CT-chains, but it would go against the priorities formulated under the Commission’s recently announced European Green Deal initiative. UIRR places its faith into the supplementary impact assessment study that the Commission is carrying out and that this study will result in the needed changes to the trialogue deal in the course of the second reading of the Mobility Package.

The destructive effects of the five weeks of French railway strikes, which commenced in early December, must also be mentioned. The circulation of freight trains was severely disrupted – with a ripple effect of undermining shipper confidence in rail freight.

Temporary compensatory measures have been announced in Norway, while the extension of support was decided in Switzerland. These measures are designed to bridge the disadvantages suffered by non-road modes of transport, in regulatory terms and fossil-fuel subsidies, when compared to trucking. The revised CT Directive should provide a firm basis for temporary compensatory measures.

2020 is a celebratory year for UIRR as the association was founded 50 years ago, in 1970. I am hopeful that while the year does not seem to be setting off on the right foot for the European intermodal sector, it will ultimately end on an upbeat note.

Ralf-Charley SchultzePresident

CONTENTS

Belgium pledges €35bn to rail improvement............................ 2

French rail strikes paralyse freight................ 2

RU Contingency Handbook unveiled............ 2

Ukraine announces rail liberalisation............ 2

UK ratifies eCMR protocol............................ 2

Second Belgium-Basel route to be developed through France............................ 2

Freight demand outstrips capacity in Channel Tunnel..................................... 2

US government to develop National Rail Freight Strategic Plan................................... 2

Austria: rail sector demands cost equality .... 2

88% of Bavaria and Tyrol residents demand modal shift from road to rail......................... 3

Austria doubles RoLa over the Brenner......... 3

Norway introduces support to CT................. 3

Mobility Package deal hurts CT..................... 3

Swiss extend CT support until 2026.............. 3

20% growth of rail CT in Gothenburg............ 3

China-Germany rail transit cut to 10 days...... 3

Ekol’s Intermodal wins Business Award........ 3

New terminals in Cherbourg and Hannover... 3

North American intermodal to modestly rebound in 2020........................................ 3

Personnel News..................................... 4

Members' News..................................... 4

Key Dates & Events. 4

 

 

CONTENTS

· Belgium pledges €35bn to rail improvement

· French rail strikes paralyse freight

· RU Contingency Handbook unveiled

· Ukraine announces rail liberalisation

· UK ratifies eCMR protocol.......

· Second Belgium-Basel route to be developed through France

· Freight demand outstrips capacity in Channel Tunnel

· US government to develop National Rail Freight Strategic Plan

· Austria: rail sector demands cost equality

· 88% of Bavaria and Tyrol residents demand modal shift from road to rail

· Austria doubles RoLa over the Brenner

· Norway introduces support to CT

· Mobility Package deal hurts CT

· Swiss extend CT support until 2026

· 20% growth of rail CT in Gothenburg

· China-Germany rail transit cut to 10 days

· Ekol’s Intermodal wins Business Award

· New terminals in Cherbourg and Hannover

· North American intermodal to modestly rebound in 2020

· Personnel News

· Members News

· Key Dates & Events

 

UIRR Quarterly
CT Performance Gauge


Documents correspondants
UIRR Newsletter Q4.2019 EN
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