The International Union for Road-Rail Combined Transport (UIRR) and the UK Rail Freight Group have announced a new collaboration to further promote the growth of road-rail combined transport
The organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enable them to work more closely together on areas of common interest, and share relevant information across their respective memberships.
Brussels, Belgium-based UIRR works to promote the use of combined transport through improving quality and performance of services, achieving a fair, mode-neutral regulatory environment and by continuously enhancing intermodal transport.
RFG is the representative body for rail freight in the UK, and it works to increase the volume of goods moved by rail by influencing policy, bringing businesses together and promoting rail freight. RFG recognises that a continuously increasing portion of rail freight comes from intermodal transport.
Together the two organizations will work to promote areas of common interest and ensure that their member businesses have access to information and support in promoting combined transport. RFG will also help UIRR promote take-up of the ILU-Code (intermodal loading unit owners’ code, EN 13044-1), to its members in the UK.
UIRR President, Ralf-Charley Schultze stated: "The United Kingdom is one of four regions of Europe with an above average growth potential for combined transport. Thanks to the Channel Tunnel, using railway forwarding on the long sections of the journey, the lowest carbon footprint version of combined transport is possible not only on domestic relations, but also to and from the continent. UIRR is committed to catalyse the sector helping it to achieve its potential."
Maggie Simpson, Director General RFG said: "We are delighted to be working more closely with UIRR in promoting road-rail combined transport in the UK and between the UK and mainland Europe.
"As the UK heads towards Brexit, our vital links with partners across Europe becomes ever more important, and this collaboration will help our members grow their businesses and improve the quality of combined transport."
The UIRR is the Administrator of the ILU-Code, responsible for issuing owner-keys and developing and maintaining the Register of intermodal loading units. These are also commonly referred to as UTI, after the French for intermodal transport unit. A UTI may be taken as 2TEU, but is often strictly speaking 2.25TEU, given the number of 45ft shortsea palletwide containers, swap bodies and trailers carried in intermodal rail chains.
The UIRR has reported total members’ traffic of 8.6M TEU in 2018, which was 2.2M TEU more than in 2017. Most of the increase was due to new members joining and one-off acquisitions by existing members, but also included 440,000 TEU of organic growth.
The average non-road distance travelled per shipment was 841 kms, or 30 kms less than in 2017. This means that more shippers and forwarders are using intermodal rail for shorter door-to-door journeys.