These industry professionals may be your next RailFreight Ambassador
At the European Silk Road Summit, which is held from 29 November till 1 December in Budapest, the industry will select a new RailFreight Ambassador, a proud believer in rail, bridgebuilder within the community and respected person in the industry. Four industry professionals have been nominated, and this is what they have to say.
Martin Koubek is Head of Silk Road at METRANS. He believes that the target of the people in rail freight should be to convince clients and politicians to use rail freight, a clean, pure transportation mode. According to him, the electric future is connected to the railway.
As a fan of new technology, Koubek also enjoys developments that “move us towards the future”. He is a firm believer that his enthusiasm influences those around him, and it is for this reason that he was nominated to be the RailFreight Ambassador 2023. His hope and enthusiasm for the continued growth of new ideas in the rail industry make him a formidable contender for the award.
Monika Olejniczak is Director Sales at DB Cargo Eurasia. She clearly meets the contender criterion of being a firm promoter of the New Silk Road, as she has been “fighting and defending the route in a period when a lot of people were hesitating if it was working”.
“We are proving to customers that rail on the Eurasian Corridor works smoothly on a daily basis. The fast and reliable rail solutions, which DB Cargo Eurasia is providing, are important for a stable supply chain between Europe and Asia.” Above all, Olejniczak wants to spread the positive word about rail itself and convince more people to this sustainable and economically reasonable solution: “What matters for me is that stakeholders decide for rail solutions, as stable priced, faster than sea and cheaper than air.”
Miłosz Witkowski is Rail Freight Director at the Polish Forwarding Company. He specifically contributes to the development of LCL and FCL rail services on the New Silk Road. “We now offer 3 LCL services supported by our own containers and we are developing these services continously.” As a RailFreight Ambassador, we can expect him to “lobby for development in Malaszewicze area, which in my opinion is key for growth on the New Silk Road”.
Witkowski is a well-known figure in the Eurasian community and he has taken this role further than doing ‘just’ logistics. He attends many conferences where he shares the forwarders’ point of view on rail and is probably the most frequent visitor of the European Silk Road Summit. From time to time he records podcasts concerning rail topics and next year, he will start teaching at the private University in Gdynia to share his knowledge about the New Silk Road and rail. “Generally, I promote rail solutions anywhere I can as I see this mode of transport as the future.”
Juergen Huschka is Member of the Group-Management and Executive Director Eurasia at InterRail Holding. Asked what makes him a worthy contender to the ambassador award, he says that it is his daily work that he is doing.
“We are dedicated to rail as the best transport mode. We are constantly bringing more cargo on rails, exploring new routes and bringing in new people.” He never stopped believing in the New Silk Road regardless of the challenging times and he will continue to do so, which makes him tick the boxes of the award criteria.
What excites these nominees?
“The Full-Time Schedule trains between China and Europe”, Olejniczak answers without hesitation. The fixed schedule train service was introduced a little more than a year ago between Xi’an and Duisburg. Now DB Cargo Eurasia runs it on a weekly basis in both directions and more and more customers are showing interest to develop similar products. Thanks to fixed time slots and a priority status, this journey can be completed in 12 days. “This is the future for rail, to direct the focus on rail as a product competitive to air transport”, she says.
“Connections between Europe and Central Asia, new rail connection from Laos/Vietnam/Thailand/Cambodia to Europe and all developments on the Middle Corridor”, answers Witkowksi, in that order. Huschka is looking with interest at the infrastructure investments made by Kazakhstan and the route being developed in Turkey. “It is good to see that countries are finally investing in their infrastructure, although it comes a little late.”
As a believer in new things, Koubek is particularly pleased with ‘fast development’ that is the DNA of METRANS since its start in 1991. “I feel happy to be part of this. New services, new terminals, new routes, new possibilities, this is what I see here at METRANS and what I also envision for European Combined Transport in the next decade.”
Who is your favourite?
The nominees of the RailFreight Ambassador Award 2023 are also speakers on the programme of the European Silk Road Summit. They will be taking part in the nominees panel, where they discuss the challenges and opportunities on the New Silk Road. This is an opportunity to get to know them even better.
At the end of the conference day (30 November), one of them will receive the RailFreight Ambassador Award. You can vote for your favourite candidate online now and if you attend the European Silk Road Summit, you can bring out your vote (again) in person. Who do you believe should be the RailFreight Ambassador of 2023?
Link to voting: https://www.silkroadsummit.eu/railfreight-ambassador-2023/