Tuesday 5 October 2021

Third INTERTRAN workshop on the prospects for intermodal transport digitalisation held online on 29 September 2021

The JSC “Russian Railways” (RZD), a member of the UIC Asia-Pacific Region, has been implementing the “Measures for the effective development of multimodal transport in the Asia-Pacific Region aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the railway transport (INTERTRAN)” project since 2018.

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The third INTERTRAN workshop was attended by representatives of railway companies, including members of the UIC Asia-Pacific Region under the leadership of JSC “Russian Railways”, UIC partners at international organisations and associations (UNESCAP, OSJD, FIATA, CCTT), as well as a number of the largest operators and logistics companies in the region.

The workshop was dedicated to summarising the results of the project and discussing further challenges to be addressed by all intermodal transport market stakeholders in respect of business process digitalisation and the distribution of INTERTRAN information technology on new routes connecting Asia and Europe.

Several sessions were organised to discuss key issues, such as:

  • the INTERTRAN project: background, goals and achievements
  • potential capabilities of transport and logistics companies in the field of business process digitalisation
  • the role of multilateral cooperation in implementation of projects in the field of international intermodal transport digitalisation
  • further steps in the development of new transport routes using INTERTRAN information technology

The seminar was opened by Sergey Pavlov, First Deputy CEO, JSC “Russian Railways” and François Davenne, Director General of UIC.

Mr Pavlov explained that INTERTRAN is aimed at the development of digital container delivery services in intermodal traffic. It was initiated in 2018 during the chairmanship of Oleg Belozerov, CEO – Chairman of the Management Board of Russian Railways, at the Asia-Pacific Regional Assembly of the International Union of Railways.

The creation of INTERTRAN information technology and development of a consistent plan for implementation of the project were carried out by the working group of JSC Russian Railways and TG FESCO for the development of intermodal transportation using electronic document management. The work made it possible to run a pilot shipment of containers from the Japanese port of Yokohama through the port of Vladivostok to the Silikatnaya station of the Moscow railway in September 2019.

This project is based on the idea of creating a seamless environment for information interaction between a sea line operator, a carrier represented by Russian Railways, customs authorities, consignors and consignees in the implementation of intermodal transportation with electronic paperwork.

As a result of the work carried out, a unified “Electronic port/railroad” information technology package was created, which contains specifications for processing transport participants’ operations in their information systems, forming a single information environment for each transport operation. It includes paperless execution of up to 30 operations and allows users to draw up paperless transport documents and make customs declarations for goods placed under the customs transit procedure. Completion of the customs transit procedure at the destination station is also provided for in electronic form.

Over the past year, the volume of traffic using INTERTRAN information technology has grown to 6,000 containers. In 2020, this traffic grew at an average monthly rate of 36%, which is much higher than the growth rate of international container traffic through the Russian Railways network. Another important result is international support for the project. Russian Railways offers a modern digital service that is in demand on the international market, especially in the context of the global trend towards digitalisation.

Mr Davenne emphasised the strong global trend toward paperless data exchange, which is being implemented in many domains and parts of the world. In the context of digital development, UIC is working on common specifications for digital tools through the various dedicated UIC platforms.

Intensive digitalisation is one of the key corridor approaches to improving cost and risk controls thanks to the implementation of innovative and relevant solutions facilitating border crossing and multimodality. It is important that all railway companies and the various partners and stakeholders in the transport sector work together.

One of today’s challenges is to make the entire logistics chain more intelligent, including transported units such as “clever” containers. INTERTRAN can be imagined as a component of an intelligent system, linking the various continents, railway standards and technologies used in Europe, Asia and beyond, with recommendations and support from international partners. UIC’s goal is to develop and implement innovative shared projects to respond to the needs of freight and container transport. JSC “Russian Railways” and UIC are working together to develop interoperable information technology and facilitate exchange with all stakeholders in railway transport, transport in general and the logistics sector.

The workshop was moderated by Liudmila Renne, Deputy Head of the Foreign Projects and International Cooperation Department at JSC “Russian Railways”, and Vincent Vu, Director of Institutional Relations at UIC.

At the end of the workshop, following discussion, the participants approved the resolution document proposed by RZD and UIC and agreed to continue with INTERTRAN implementation.

Due to the pandemic, the workshop was organised in two parts. Following on from the first part held online on 29 September, the second part will be held as an in-person event in September/October 2022.

Further information on the second part of the workshop will be available in 2022 on the UIC website: https://uic.org/events/3rd-intertran-workshop

For further information please contact Ms Béatrice Ségéral, Senior Advisor Institutional Relations & Asia-Pacific Region: segeral@uic.org

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