Information published on 15 October 2012 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 313.

UIC/FIATA Common Contact Group Meeting on 18 and 19 September 2012, Odessa

  • Freight

A UIC/FIATA Contact Group meeting took place on 18 and 19 September 2012 in Odessa (Ukraine), this time hosted by Plaske JSC.

The UIC/FIATA Contact Group aims to facilitate a platform where freight forwarders and railway undertakings can network, discuss the latest trends within the rail sector and exchange best practices. Furthermore this group decides on the theme and venue of the Market Place Seminar which is regularly organised by UIC and FIATA.

During the meeting positive aspects were reported for BDZ Cargo since it joined the “VIKING” railway project, which was initiated by Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine, port companies, Kleipeda, Odessa and Illichevsk port. In 2003 regular operation of combined transport train called VIKING began. Bulgaria is connected to this project by the Varna ferry complex whose estimated capacity is up to 120,000 wagons and 3.5 million tonnes per year. The city of Varna is situated on the north shore of the Black Sea and is an important industrial, commercial, tourist and transport centre. Since the VIKING project was extended to Bulgaria, BDZ Cargo has experienced an important increase in the volume of international traffic as well as a significant development of intermodal transport in international and inland traffic.

UIC presented its new UIC project on European Corridors referring to EU-regulation 913/2010. Four RUs published a position paper stating their requirements to infrastructure managers and the national ministries concerning the implementation of EU-regulation 913/2010. This paper is supported by all members of Forum Train Europe (FTE).

The UIC project aims to create a working structure to initiate necessary actions which will meet the requirements expressed in the position paper and follow their implementation on all corridors. By coordinating this work, a consistent and efficient implementation process shall be ensured.
FIATA reported on a survey it carried out among its association’s members concerning vocational training in rail freight. The survey highlights the importance of rail freight from the members’ point of view and the resources necessary to implement or improve vocational training in rail freight.

Some selected results are as follows:

  • Rail freight is particularly important in Ukraine, India, Estonia, Uzbekistan, Russia, Kazakhstan and less important in Singapore, Ireland, Portugal and Italy
  • Most of the respondents agree that transport way bills and accompanying documents as well as intermodal transportation should be included in the FIATA minimum standard for rail freight training
  • The majority of respondents believe that the number of acceptable training hours that would meet the minimum standard is between 35 and 70 hrs
  • The analysis reveals that the majority of respondents prefer to deliver rail freight training through a mixed learning approach combining both online and traditional classroom teaching methods

The next Market Place Seminar (MPS) jointly organised by UIC and FIATA will take place in Vienna at the Arcotel Wimberger on 18 and 19 April 2013. At the meeting in Odessa it was decided that this event should focus on the challenges and future perspectives concerning transport from Eastern to Western Europe and vice versa.