Freight and Terminal Forum – Live Blog Day 2

On 26, 27, and 28 March the Freight and Terminal Forum is taking place in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This is the live blog, with news updates, videos and interviews of this first freight edition of the RailTech.

Day 2

17.00: The pub quiz of Rail Cargo starts in the arena.

16.15: The last workshop of today is provided by the winner of the RailFreight Award: RailApp. Rico Perdon explained the idea behind the innovation: an app that brings together various parties involved in a logistics chain. “It is a closed market, so these parties already work together. But the app takes away a lot of work.” Read an interview here.

15.15: The workshop of Akos Ersek of the UIRR kicks off. He discusses the ongoing developments around the amendment of the Combined Transport Directive. “The aim of the directive is to bridge unequal support for road and rail”, he explains. Read more here.

14.14: Jetze Tjalma starts his workshop (in Dutch) about non-cranable trailers on rail. “The container was the last revolutionary concept in rail. This may be the next”, he said. The Dutch terminal of Bleijswijk is to implement the technology to lift non-cranable trailers on rail. The main destination is Berlin, but other European cities are considered. Read more here.

13.15: Stephan Noll, Manager Corridor One-Stop-Shop at Scan-Med Corridor starts his workshop about the integrated offer for capacity request, combining train path and terminal allocation. “Requesting train paths through the C-OSS interface can be done until Monday 1 April”, Noll said.

“If this year we receive requests, we will extend this concept to 2021”, Noll promised. Currently the pilot only runs on the Scan-Med corridor, but it is also suitable for other corridors, such as the Rhine Alpine Corridor as there are many intersecting points, he added. Read the full story.

12.15: Wando Boevé gives a workshop about synchromodality: logistics is like an ant hole: when you put your foot on the hole, the stream of ants will quickly change direction and find another route. This is the same in logistics: cargo finds its way the the destination one way or another.”

12.00: Pier Eringa emphasises the importance of freight on the railway network. “The conditions for freight are the same as for passengers: the sector is also looking for an attractive price and comfort in crossing the border.”

Capacity allocation remains a topic of discussion. “The freight sector should promote its business more by means of sound reduction”, he said. “But capacity allocation should also become more flexible. There is a lot of unused capacity due to last-minute cancellations. This should be used more efficiently.”

11.15: Jan Koolen of Unit 45 presents the 45ft reefer container in a workshop. “This container is compatible with the 40ft infrastructure, making handling and transportation easy within all modalities.” Read more here.

10.15: Mercitalia starts off the day with a workshop about the world’s first high-speed service for rail. “We have developed a product to serve the booming e-commerce business. This is our market”, Francesco Cacciapouti explained. The train runs between Bologna and Caserta in Italy in 3.5 hours, 5 times a week. There is potential for an extension of the service to other high-speed destinations.

France also experimented with a high-soeed freight line, called La Poste. However, this service was not continued. What does Mercitalia do differently? was a question from the audience. Cacciapouti stressed that it may not have been the right time. “Now is the time for such service. We believe the market is ready.” Read the interview here.

10.00: Dutch Secretary of State for Infrastructure and Water Stientje van Veldhoven takes the stage in the arena. She emphasised that rail remains the greenest transport modality. Hinting at cross-border railway traffic,  she said that the Fourth Railway Package should bring the desired improvements.

9.00: Exhibition is open

Roundup video Day 1


Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is the editor-in-chief of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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