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EIA / Intermodal newsletter 2014 (1) 04.02.2014 23:27

Join the club of talented people!

Reading this first 2014 newsletter implies that (you) have had the experience, creativity and endur-ance to successfully develop intermodal related business for yet another year. Join the club of tal-ented people!

Difficult times can have a positive effect on intermodal transport, if managed within a fair level play-ing field. Automatically all kinds of collaborations take place, which is an inherent ingredient for in-termodal anyhow. There is less space for ‘but’ in difficult times: to survive, we all have to shake hands with other modes or partners in EU or in emerging continents.

New markets have been visited in 2013 (China, Saudi Arabia etc) where EIA went on mission with members, or where EIA promoted relevant members’ best practices. Global intermodal expertise is wanted by our overseas friends, be it market players or authorities. They realise that intermodal cov-ers a broad range of requirements needed to facilitate trade, to save resources, to create jobs and enable free movement of goods via new maritime, rail corridors and landbridges.

Having a good technical solution was good enough some decades ago. In current sophisticated, multi-layered, well informed digital stakeholders’ environment we must offer better. Combining modes remains ‘one of the options’ unless we develop a Gesamtkonzept embedded in modern supply chains from producer to consumer. Smart EIA members are therefore partner in various EU funded industrial research projects. Welcome to the Cloud!

Reduced truck capacity will push on rail and barge services. Some EU corridors will absorb growth (CH,D), others will be confronted with their limits (e.g. limited investment by some railway undertak-ings in Mediterranean areas). Entrepreneurial ports will have to do the job with ‘smart or powerful’ railways (read port-hinterland strategies in newsletter). The success of the shippers branch in EIA is based on long term contracts with logistics suppliers, which is a prerequisite to organise viable inter-modal routes needed to distribute their fresh dairy products, batteries or laptops in time into shops.

Road will react quick by investing in new units in 2014, but only by those who survived. This would mean higher freight rates compared with the slump of recent years. Growing concern has become the recruitment of truck drivers for long trips (1000+ km). More will be taken onboard by intermodal with the new double pocket railcars. Severe unbalanced traffic, lacking or limited infrastructure or border-crossing equipment remains a challenge. Communicate these and other issues having an impact on your business via the neutral EIA door which is often knocked on by EU authorities.

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