Under the chairmanship of Ferdinand Schmidt, the members of the Freight Forum met in Paris on 29 May 2013. Delegates had the opportunity to discuss a range of strategic and technical issues as well as define the Forum’s course of action and work programme for 2014. The main fields of action include the following:
- Hold a Freight Forum meeting once or twice a yearly to serve as an attractive communication platform for UIC members (half a day with all participants, half a day of workshops)
- “Description” of rail freight sector: RU-IM-WK-Operator-Terminals
- Describe the process chain and identify where and how we can provide expertise
- Support the Corridor Approach e.g. Asia and Europe
- Impact analysis of market development/EU documentation (ex ante)
- Provide support to market driven topics through projects: productivity improvements, standardisation etc.
- Involvement in trust agreements for wagon hand-over such as in GCU
- Area of conflict between Passenger RUs and Cargo RUs
- Area of conflict between Infrastructure Managers and Cargo RUs
- Energy savings programmes
- Training: concrete, tangible projects and activities with added value, which can be easily transposed by members
To achieve these aims the Freight Forum needs to establish a new special group to organise and manage the needs of the members of the Trust Agreement and four new projects over the next years:
- The ECCO project (Efficient Cross Corridor Organisation) and Telematics Coordination and Compliance project were supported and presented to the meeting as being effective initiatives.
- The Market Intelligence project was discussed and presented to the project meeting.
- The Project Training workshop and exchange of best practice on safe loading and dangerous goods was also discussed. This workshop could be organised jointly with the UIC Safety and Training Units.
The Forum members discussed the issue of the budget, which was approved for 2014.
They were informed by the directors of the Passenger and Rail System Departments of their main activities and possible fields of common work.
A presentation was given by Mr Gräber on the final results of the EuropeTrain project, following which the participants discussed the next steps for implementation from an operations point of view.
In the afternoon session the Freight Forum members were given updates on several areas of activity including:
- Progress report of 2013 corridor project
- TAF TSI implementation
- Activity report by study groups
- Updated leaflets
- Information from other organisations such as CIT and CER.
The next meetings to take place later this year will be the Steering Committee, to be held on 1 October in Paris, the Preparatory Freight Forum, to be held on 19 November in Paris and the next Freight Forum to be held on 20 November in Paris.