Press release: Zero-Carbon CT delivers cheapest decarbonisation 01/12/22

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Zero-Carbon CT delivers cheapest decarbonisation


Zero-Carbon door-to-door Combined Transport (ZCCT) could be the cheapest and easiest solution to achieving the decarbonisation, energy efficiency and energy decoupling targets of the European Union if the Commission-proposed TEN-T technical parameters are implemented on the railway network and the already identified bottlenecks are removed.  The price tag is estimated at €490 billion over 30 years, or €16,3 billion annually.  On top, €1,6 billion of net new capital would need to be channelled into intermodal assets each year until 2050.

The study “Roadmap to Zero-Carbon Combined Transport 2050”[1] was published yesterday at the European Intermodal Summit 2022 (EIS22) with other key findings such as:

  • The demand for inland freight transport in Europe will grow by 51% until 2050.
  • A rail freight market share of 44% in long-distance freight transportation, over 300km distances or more, is achievable through the increased use of intermodal techniques.
  • Combined Transport would have to grow its performance by 5% year-on-year over the next 3 decades.

Transport Minister Martin Kupka for the Czech Council Presidency stated during the conference: “As the country holding the Presidency of the EU Council, we encourage the customers to make the right decisions and to use Combined Transport as an adequate tool for sustainable transport.” He added that “our ambition as a country holding the EU Council presidency is to make it possible to increase the competitiveness of rail transport.”

MEP Anna Deparnay-Gruenenberg shared her vision, which is that “every entrepreneur of the future who is committed to the great transition will naturally choose rail because Combined Transport can transport all goods across Europe in a flexible and timely and climate-neutral manner without a guilty conscience and as a competitive business case”.

MEP and TRAN Committee Deputy Chair Jan-Christoph Oetjen stated that “Our aim in the European Parliament is that rail delivers: for this we need more intermodal services and you can count on us to make the right policies in order to make this happen.”

Elisabeth Werner Deputy Secretary General of the Commission pointed out that “The green transition can not happen without greening transport. This became more urgent in view of the Russian war, as Europe must decouple from imported Russian fossil energy.”



CEOs of UIRR members and other invitees of EIS 2022 agreed that urgent interventions are needed to counter the quality performance, the lack of capacity and the traction electricity issues that adversely impact rail freight in the present and during the coming years.

UIRR called for the adoption of a revised TEN-T Guidelines Regulation, which contains all the necessary technical parameters for rail freight, the development of freight terminals needed for freight to access the infrastructure, as well as a commitment to firm deadlines to deliver by Member States.

The European intermodal sector looks forward to the Commission’s legislative proposals in the Greening Freight Package including the Combined Transport Directive, the new Rail Infrastructure Capacity Regulation, the Weights and Dimensions Directive and the Count Emissions Regulation promised for April 2023 to facilitate the needed proliferation of Zero-Carbon door-to-door Combined Transport.

The Speakers at the EIS 2022



Zero-Carbon door-to-door Combined Transport offers the cheapest path to decarbonise inland freight transportation, while delivering substantial additional benefits in energy efficiency and energy decoupling. European transport policymakers should keep this in mind when plotting the future of freight logistics on the continent.” – pointed out UIRR President Ralf-Charley Schultze.

You can watch the European Intermodal Summit 2022 on our Youtube channel on this link:

European Intermodal Summit 30.11.2022 Meeting Recording - YouTube

Related documents
UIRR press release ZCCT EN