If January is new year for some, within the UIC Freight Department this has meant shaping a new team thanks to the arrival of new members. Freight activities are by nature international, and the team precisely reflects this and is becoming even more cosmopolitan thus trying to ensure an even better understanding of the needs of our members is our main priority. Freight is evolving, so is the team. The time was therefore right to take a close look at the freight vision as defined by members and its underlying expectations.
UIC strategy is shaped by members, both at European and global level.
The UIC freight department strategic goals are to:
- Foster interoperability
- Use digitalisation as a key tool to drive business improvements
- Ensure safety and security are not compromised
- All this to ensure productivity improvements
At European level the strategy is driven by the freight CEOs and is expressed in its White Paper “30 by 2030” and translates the rail freight operators’ ambition to proactively drive modal shift towards rail, rail being the most sustainable transport mode.
Whilst this vision led to a European wide communication campaign in 2019 with Noah’s train, the operational commitment to improve the system on specific topics is managed by UIC with projects such as:
- Xborder (ensuring any driver can cross any border with any language proficiency level)
- Harmonising braking rules (run in partnership with XRail)
- Driving the digital agenda with a focus on censoring interoperability for instance
- The development and publication of an International Contingency Management handbook
At global level, the UIC Freight team is actively involved in the development of transcontinental corridors and has just completed a study on the elasticity of the demand for such services in relation to criteria such as decreasing Chinese subsidies, digitalisation enhancements etc.
The current freight team is composed of:
- Sandra Géhénot: Freight Department Director
- Béatrix Perrot: Assistant
- Maxence Le Jeune: Trainee for GRFC and global corridors
- Eric Guenther: Wagon Issues
- Nathalie Libardie: Loading Rules
- Joost Overdijkink: Dangerous Goods / ECCO / Freight Forum / HLFM
- Constanze Bannholzer: Combined Transport / Exceptionnal Transport / CEO Task Force
- Pablo Hermoso: Digital Issues
- Paulo De Freitas: Operations / Xbroder Language / Translate4Rail
- Philip Van Den Bosch: CEO Task Force Strategy / Xborder Section / Eurasian Corridors
- Jozef Fazik: Project Pallet