The transport of goods on Eurasian corridors is a very dynamic and competitive sector in which rail has clear advantages vis-à-vis other transport modes. This was highlighted by Ekaterina Kozyreva from IEC Consultancy who presented the results of the study recently conducted with the support of UIC Freight on Eurasian traffic development.
Nevertheless, Railway Undertakings (RUs) also need to intensify their work on quality, flexibility and ease of use to convince more customers to shift further volumes towards rail. Only by offering rail products that outperform competition will RUs be able to attract customers towards rail. One of the levers which can help improve the attractiveness and productivity of the rail product is digitalisation.
Key to the success of innovation projects will be for the RUs to work together to drive standardisation. In the light of what is happening in the field of wagon and assets in general, seals, used to ensure the integrity of containers, are benefiting from digital technology.
In order to take stock of existing developments and possible use cases, UIC Freight & Security in cooperation with CCTT (Coordination Council on Trans-Siberian Transportation) organised a workshop in Paris on 24 April.
The workshop, opened by Natalia Stepanova, CCTT Deputy Secretary General, was attended by approximately 50 people and brought together manufacturers from China, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Europe, Railway Undertakings, Security experts, representatives from Customs, CIT (International Rail Transport Committee) and BIC (Bureau International des Container).
After having reviewed existing technologies and their current use cases for market door-to-door operation, the workshop focused on the administrative landscape and the discussions led by Bénédicte Meille (BIC) and Erik Evtimov (CIT) highlighted best practices as well as current bottlenecks especially in the domain of customs processes and procedures where clearly container users should join forces in order to better voice the hurdles they currently face regarding the acceptance of containers fitted with devices.
The last part of the workshop concentrated on border crossing aspects and action coordination in the event of an intrusion.
At the end of the extremely rich and intense discussions, Sandra Géhénot summed up the day and the agreed next steps as follows:
- The exchanges clearly highlighted the need for seamless trade and thus to focus on door-to-door solutions
- To continue the close work with international organisations and in particular with BIC (on a business case for container users) and CIT (for including digital technology in legal processes)
- The need to engage more systematically with customs authorities;
- A user specification to help interoperable technology development should be developed
- Action coordination at borders in cases of intrusion should be mapped
- Existing technology and processes should be tested in pilot projects. On this matter the stakeholders present are invited to support CCTT