UIRR Press release: A difficult yet historic year 06/07/20

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UIRR Report 2019-2020: a difficult yet historic year

The year-on-year growth in European Combined Transport in tonne-kilometres matched the GDP growth of the European Union at 1,48% during 2019, while UIRR member CT Operators transported a historic record of 4,4 million consignments.  The year was mired by a series of operational challenges, a slowing global economy and lately the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, a historic peak in performance has been achieved.

The UIRR Report 2019-2020 is issued today[1], featuring contributions from members of the European parliament:

  • István Újhelyi, Deputy Chair of the TRAN Committee;
  • Barbara Thaler, Deputy TRAN Committee Coordinator of the EPP Group; and
  • Izaskun Bilbao-Barandica, multiple-term member of the TRAN Committee.

The Report provides a comprehensive overview of the developments of European Combined Transport during 2019, including the usual statistical figures.

Reflecting on the upcoming 50th anniversary of UIRR’s founding, a historic timeline is also featured that follows the major milestones in the development of European Combined Transport and its industry association, UIRR, from 1970 to 2020.  Most importantly, Road-Rail Combined Transport became the engine of growth for the rail freight sector, where in 2019 every second freight train was an intermodal train.

The role of an industry association such as UIRR in the 21st Century ranges from

  • explaining the activity of its members to policymakers and regulators, through
  • coordinating the enhancement of best practice by standardisation, digitalisation and externally funded research and development projects, all the way to
  • hosting a range of support services that are best carried out on a non-profit basis from a neutral corner.

This will remain the calling of UIRR for the next 50 years, framed around the mission of improving the quality performance of rail freight, contributing to the development of a fair, mode-neutral regulatory framework and catalyzing the continuous enhancement of European Intermodal Transport.


[1] http://www.uirr.com/en/media-centre/annual-reports/annual-reports/mediacentre/1582-uirr-annual-report-2019-20.html

“UIRR was founded by 7 Combined Transport Operators in October 1970, and has today 40 members from 17 European countries, while the number of technology partners and MoU peers of the association is also steadily increasing.  Our doors are open to every European operator of Combined Transport, as well as to any supplier of intermodal technologies or associations committed to the cause of intermodal transport.”  - highlighted UIRR President Ralf-Charley Schultze.






Related documents
UIRR PR: a difficult yet historic year EN
UIRR Annual Report 2019-20 EN