On 10 March, in the context of the DIOMIS project, a workshop on combined transport in Europe and in the United States of America was organised in Paris with representatives of the combined transport industry.
The session was opened by Mr Luc Aliadière, CEO UIC, who reminded the audience of the importance for the UIC of this concrete strategic project which is an example of successful partnership between key stakeholders such as UIRR, Europlatforms, Infrastructure Managers (IMs) and Railway Undertakings (RUs) aiming at developing transport in the most efficient manner. His words were echoed by Mr Oliver Sellnick, UIC Railway Undertakings Director, who indicated that now was the time to plan and pave the way for the future of combined transport.
The results of the study were presented by Mr Eric Peetermans, Chairman of the UIC Combined Transport Group, and Mr Mertel from KombiConsult who highlighted, amongst other things, the outstanding growth performance of combined transport in 2007 and who stated that, to date, there are no reasons for thinking that the growth targets for 2015 determined by DIOMIS won’t be met. Although the current economic climate may delay growth projections for combined transport for a few months or a couple of years at most, combined transport is still the growth segment of rail freight and the fundamentals of its growth are still there.
The day was moderated by Mr John Lutz, UIC Senior Advisor and former Senior Manager at Railinc. Strong of his own US experience and drawing on the presentations made by Messrs Molcan (CD Cargo), Grisone (Hupac), Galloni (FS Logistica), Erlinger (RNE) Radstake (DVB Bank) and Müller (DUSS / DB Netz), he initiated a debate about infrastructure capacity utilisation and the intermodal business in Europe and in the US.
Concluding from the discussion he stated that the two models could not simply be transposed but that they could learn from one another. He also highlighted the key themes of the day: the importance for the industry to work in partnership with all the stakeholders, the need to improve productivity and to work on standards and processes.