The international Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (Fiata) and the International Union of Combined Road-Rail Transport Companies have issued a joint declaration calling for the development of a better combined road-rail transport system, with full liberalisation of Europe’s railways.
The statement says that the transport of goods is expected to rise in Western and Central Europe by a further 38 per cent between 1998 and 2010, and that two thirds of inland transport is currently moved by road. More attention should be aimed at reducing this share and developing other modes of transportation, such as rail.
“Combined transport brings together the natural advantage of railways as sustainable carriers over longer distances and the flexibility of road for the short distances…(This) constitutes an ideal solution to cope with the projected inland transport increases.”
The freight forwarding industry, says the current performance of railways below acceptable levels. Border crossing speeds need to be increased and full liberalisation achieved to improve competition levels, the declaration states.
“Strict separation of railway operations from the rail infrastructure management and the opening up of rail networks to competing railway undertakings have only insufficiently been realised. Only competitive pressure by ensuring discrimination-free access of further operators to rail infrastructure will release unused rail transport productivity resources.
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